UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the recent additional funding from the Government of Germany, to provide life-saving assistance and protection to millions of people impacted by the devastating drought ravaging the Horn of Africa region, including Kenya and Somalia.
The effects of climate change, persistent insecurity, armed conflict, extreme poverty, and soaring food prices have eroded the resilience and increased the needs of millions of Somalis and their host communities
This is the worst drought in four decades, owing to five consecutive failed rainy seasons that have wiped out harvests and livestock, leaving 7.8 million people in Somalia in need of humanitarian support to survive. Over 300,000 people mainly in the southern parts of the country risk famine.
“We are truly grateful to the Government of Germany for heeding our call and generously supporting the drought response in Somalia,” said Magatte Guisse, UNHCR’s Representative in Somalia. “This timely donation will enable us to step up our assistance at a time, when millions of Somalis across the country are depending on it,” he said.
“Beyond meeting people’s most urgent needs, it is critical that we also invest in durable solutions that will revive livelihoods and boost resilience to future disasters, so that affected communities can rebuild sustainably”, added Guisse.
According to the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), more than 1.59 million Somalis have been internally displaced this year alone with 192,000 of them fleeing the effects of drought in October.
Significant numbers of people have also crossed borders into neighboring countries in search of protection and assistance. In Kenya, over 80,000 new arrivals have come from Somalia in the last two years with 45,000 of them arriving in 2022.
UNHCR will provide additional shelters to refugees and new arrivals in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps but also critical protection interventions, health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene items, as well as core relief items such as jerry cans, blankets and sleeping mats.
“We are very grateful for these additional resources from the people and Government of Germany, which will help our efforts to provide support to refugees already living in Kenya, the new arrivals from Somalia, and the affected host communities,” said Caroline van Buren, UNHCR’s Representative in Kenya.
Women and children face protection risks such as gender-based violence and child protection issues such as abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In response to the drought, UNHCR has assisted over 470,000 people in critically drought-affected districts in Somalia with shelter, basic household items such as kitchen sets, blankets, and jerry cans and cash assistance to help families buy necessities, as well as water. Women and children have also received various protection services.
In June 2022, UNHCR launched an appeal for USD 42.6 million to respond to the needs of 1.52 million people with specific needs affected by the drought in the region (Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia). Only 45 percent of the required funds have been raised to date. In Somalia, UNHCR plans to provide emergency shelter, multi-purpose cash assistance and core (household) relief items, while mainstreaming protection assistance targeting those with the most critical specific needs.
“I urge other donors of goodwill to follow Germany’s example, ramp up their support to Somalia and the host countries in the region to avert the looming catastrophe” Guisse added.
For more information please contact:
In Nairobi (Somalia Country Operation): Phoebe Mukunga, [email protected], +254 722 557 008
In Nairobi (Kenya Country Operation): Glenn Jusnes, [email protected], +254 798 487 959
In Nairobi (Regional Bureau): Faith Kasina, [email protected], +254 113 427 094
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