Famine was averted in Somalia in 2017, thanks to the rapid mobilisation of resources and scaled-up response. By the end of 2017, donors had collectively contributed or pledged $1.32 billion, channelled either through the projects included in the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) or projects outside of the HRP.
Despite some improvements, humanitarian needs remained high in the country through early 2018. The situation was further compounded by the above average Gu rains and subsequent flooding, the negative impact of the Cyclone Sagar and the ongoing conflict and marginalisation. An estimated 5.4 million people need humanitarian assistance in Somalia.
By early June, the 2018 Somalia HRP, which seeks $1.5 billion to assist 4.7 million people, was only one 29 per cent funded. Nearly $210 million was also made available outside of the HRP (11 June). The reported funding trends show a decrease if compared to 2017.
Although the level of resources committed in the first months of 2018 was similar to the same period of the last year, the gap has been widening since March. By end-May 2018, the reported resources made available within the HRP have been at 64 per cent of the funding received at the same time in 2017. Humanitarian resources made available outside of the HRP have cumulatively been at a similar level to 2017 at the end of May, but the observed trend is also decreasing since March.
Overall, the reported humanitarian funding received by end-May 2018 has been only a three quarters (74 per cent) of the sum reported in the same period of 2017. With persistent humanitarian needs, exacerbated by flooding, cyclones and conflict, the funding received so far is not sufficient to sustain ongoing operations.
This growing gap may be a cause of concern, especially considering the emerging challenges, marked by the heavy flooding and the increased risks of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera, and destruction caused by the Cyclone Sagar. The increasing tensions in the border areas between Somaliland and Puntland may put an additional pressure on the operation.
The humanitarian response will, consequently, require strengthening in the coming weeks and the second half of 2018. But a drastic shortfall in available resources may be looming over the operation, calling for a strengthened collective resource mobilisation effort.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.