The Somali Cash Consortium today urged donors and governments to mobilise resources immediately to advert a catastrophe in the drought-stricken country.
As a result of three consecutive failed rainy seasons and a currently underperforming fourth one, Somalia is facing a worsening drought situation.
As of the end of November 2021, the United Nations (OCHA) estimates that 2.6 million people in Somalia (about 22 percent of the population) are affected by drought and 113,000 people are displaced as a result of it across the country in 2021. This, topped by insecurity, as well as recurrent climatic and other shocks, including desert locusts and the Covid-19 pandemic, has worsened the already fragile humanitarian situation in country, where 5.9 million people required humanitarian assistance this year alone. Predictions now estimate an increase by 30 percent of people in need, reaching 7.7 million in 2022.
Communities affected by the drought have been reporting an increase in essential commodities prices, including water food and livestock feeds. Livestock deaths and disease outbreaks as a consequence of drought have also been reported. Food insecurity continues to aggravate and 3.5 million individuals are estimated to be food insecure (FSNAU).
Multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA), delivered through mobile money, remains one of the most viable means to provide dignified and prompt support, with its ability to reach populations wherever they are and transfer values to be adaptable to the market context.
Since 2018, the European Union supported 1.2 million people in Somalia with “mobile-money” a form of digital payments delivered directly to mobile phones. This digital cash can be transferred to any merchant shop in exchange for household goods, such as food, water and non-food items.
“This method of humanitarian delivery has been shown by previous experiences and by studies to be favoured by aid recipients as it allows them to make choices and purchase what they need most,” Somali Cash Consortium Director Alessandro Bini said.
The 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Somalia is currently funded at 69 per cent, showing critical pre-existing funding gaps. In order to save lives, immediate assistance needs to be provided to drought-affected vulnerable households across the country. “The Somali cash consortium thus calls on donors and government authorities to mobilise resources immediately to advert a catastrophe,” he said.
Note to editors:
-Informational video on mobile-cash deliveries here: http://www.euronews.com/2017/05/11/crisis-in-somaliland-drought-and-famine-threaten-millions
Facts about the humanitarian situation in Somalia
·A total of 7.7 million Somalis are forecasted to need humanitarian assistance in 2022.
·A total of 2.9 million Somalis are currently internally displaced by armed conflict, insecurity and/or drought.
·Malnutrition rates across Somalia remain very high with 1,200,000 children acutely malnourished, including 213,440 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Facts about the Somali Cash Consortium
·Members include Concern Worldwide (Consortium lead), ACTED, COOPI, Danish Refugee Council, IMPACT, Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children International.
·Established in response to the need to coordinate and harmonize the ever-growing use of mobile-cash transfers in Somalia.
·Implement in coordination with Federal Government of Somalia the Social Transfer programme SAGAL
For more information, please contact:
Somali Cash Consortium
Alessandro Bini, Consortium Director