Somalia and aid agencies operating in the country on Monday launched 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), seeking $1.08 billion to provide support to 3.4 million Somalis.
The government and the agencies also called on donors to provide sufficient and early funding to sustain aid operations in Somalia in 2019 to help Somalis affected by conflict, climatic shocks and displacement across the country.
Peter de Clercq, Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia warned that unless aid agencies can sustain the aid operation or immediately scale it up in some worst drought-hit areas early in the year, the progress made thus far is under severe threat since Somalia remains in the grip of one of the most complex and long-standing crises in the world.
“I urge the international community to continue providing early and sufficient humanitarian funding,” Clercq said in a joint statement released in Mogadishu.
“Alongside life-saving support, a substantial investment in resilience-building and development solutions will be critical to ultimately end need and allow people to fend for themselves with dignity,” he added.
According to the UN, improvements in the food security situation due to good 2018 Gu rains and the sustained humanitarian response throughout 2018 have resulted in a 32 per cent decline in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance, from 6.2 million in 2018 down to 4.2 million in 2019.
However, Clercq said continued conflict and climatic shocks threaten to reverse these gains, adding that humanitarian needs remain above the pre-crisis level from two years ago.
Hamza Said Hamza, minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management who lauded aid agencies for prioritizing saving lives and ending need through community resilience-building, called on donors to also prioritize programs that tackle structural and chronic development challenges in Somalia.
“We are committed to work with all partners to move ahead with implementing durable solutions through the Resilience and Recovery Framework for Somalia, while the humanitarian response plan focuses on the immediate needs of the most vulnerable - IDPs, host communities, returnees to Somalia and refugees from neighbouring countries,” said Hamza.
According to the UN, more than 1.5 million people, mainly IDPs and rural populations, face acute levels of food insecurity and require immediate assistance for their survival.
The UN also said some 2.6 million people are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and live in difficult circumstances, are highly vulnerable and in need of multiple basic services and protection.
“This year’s response plan clearly articulates the government’s position that humanitarian needs in Somalia cannot be addressed by the delivery of life-saving assistance alone and it recognizes that there are opportunities for development actors to contribute to strengthened resilience of Somalis,” Hamza said.
HRP financial requirements were reduced from 1.5 billion dollars in 2018 to 1.08 billion dollars this year due to increased engagement of resilience and development actors.