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UN warns of funding deficits as drought hits millions in Somalia

Storyline:National News

The United Nations in Somalia has raised alarm over what it termed as low humanitarian funding response amid a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa nation as drought effects continue to bite.

UNSOM deputy George Conway has said the anticipated funding under the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 was still way too low despite an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

“A major challenge right now is the underfunding of the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, currently only funded to 19 percent for the year, which is very worrying with the current extent of the humanitarian crisis that is evolving,” said Mr. Conway.

Conway who also doubles as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator said the situation required strong advocacy with donor and financing partners to bring the humanitarian response up to scale, “so we don’t find ourselves in Somalia in a situation where people are moving increasingly into crisis and potentially over the edge into more disastrous conditions.”

Conway’s remarks Wednesday during a visit to Baidoa in South West State come amid an ongoing severe drought which has ravaged several parts of the country as the Gu rains expected in April make little show.

According to the HRP 2019, the UN had appealed for $1.08 billion but to date, only 19% which translates to $209 million has been received.

A total of 4.2 million people which is a third of the population require humanitarian assistance and protection in need of humanitarian assistance and protection according to the UNOCHA.

Of this, the UN body says, 1.5 million face acute levels of food insecurity and require immediate assistance for their survival.

A further 2.6 million people are internally displaced following 2016/17 drought and previous conflict and climatic conditions. In the 206/17 drought season alone, 1 million people were uprooted from their homes.