Humanitarian Coordinator launches appeal for Somalia

US$1.5 billion is required to address the immediate needs of 4 million people in crisis

Nairobi (13 December 2011) . The Humanitarian Appeal for Somalia was launched today in Nairobi by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden. The 2012 Appeal seeks $1.5 billion for 350 humanitarian life-saving projects to be implemented by 148 UN agencies and national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The humanitarian crisis in Somalia is the largest in the world. Four million people lack life's basic necessities, such as clean water and shelter. Three million are in southern Somalia, where famine continues for 250,000 people. Tens of thousands have died, while almost 300,000 Somalis fled hunger and conflict in 2011 and sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

"It is unacceptable that 4 million Somalis still need assistance, that children in Somalia have the highest rate of global malnutrition in the world, and that so many children across Somalia have died in the past year as a result of disease and malnutrition," said the Humanitarian Coordinator, Bowden. "The situation would have been far worse without the generosity of donors and the rapid scale-up in response. We proved that with adequate resources we could change the situation."

Since the famine was declared in Somalia in July, a rapid scale-up in response has proven effective.
Within three months, the number of people receiving food each month more than tripled to 2.6 million. More than 480,000 acutely malnourished children received nutrition supplements. Mass vaccination campaigns reduced cases of measles by almost 50 per cent. Three of the six areas where famine was declared had improved to pre-famine levels by November.

"The $1.5 billion appeal is a realistic assessment of the needs. We will continue to face challenges to access and to the delivery of assistance, but it is critical that we maintain the momentum," he said, adding that early and full funding for the CAP 2012 is essential to save lives.

Access to the affected population remains the biggest challenge in the delivery of live-saving interventions. While calling on all parties to the conflict to respect humanitarian principles, the organizations participating in the CAP will continue to engage with newer partners in 2012, many of whom have increased their activities in the south.

The global Humanitarian Appeal will be launched on 14 December in Geneva.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.