The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided an additional $476 million in critical humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Somalia as a historically unprecedented drought pushes more than 7 million people to the edge of starvation.
United States has provided nearly $707 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia in FY 2022. It is imperative that Somalia’s partners in the international community join the United States in increasing their contributions to the Somali people to avert significant loss of life in the midst of multiple consecutive failed rainy seasons and skyrocketing food and fuel prices due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
USAID’s critical assistance comes as Somalia is experiencing four back-to-back drought seasons, and more than 200,000 people currently face an imminent risk of famine. A confluence of crises, including COVID-19, desert locust infestations, and continued recovery from previous droughts have grinded away at people’s livelihoods across the country. Meanwhile, climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of droughts globally.
The announcement includes $461 million in humanitarian assistance that will allow USAID partners to urgently scale-up assistance to millions of people across Somalia. This includes: urgent supplies of food for millions of people, staving off starvation, Life-saving nutrition to treat malnourished children, Safe drinking water and emergency health care to prevent disease exacerbated by hunger, and Protection for women and children to prevent gender-based violence.
Today’s funding also includes $15 million in development assistance, subject to congressional approval, in development assistance in Somalia to help farmers stay productive by equipping them with vouchers to obtain seeds and tools, maintaining and extending canals so they can water their crops, and providing community grants to improve and build storage and processing facilities.
A portion of today’s funding for Somalia is included in the additional Ukraine supplemental and is part of the $2.76 billion in USAID assistance announced by President Joe Biden on June 27, 2022. It is immediately being programmed to address the most dire impacts of the global food security crisis and historic drought in countries with high levels of acute food insecurity, reliance on Russian and Ukrainian imports, and vulnerability to price shocks.