July marked three years since the UN declared famine in Somalia. The catastrophe facing the Somali people three years ago ended in at least 260,000 people dying, half of them children.
In May this year, 26 organizations came together to call for the world to remember Somalia. The country faces a constant battle against apathy with the international community managing to forget about the fact that nearly 3 million people – a third of the population – are in severe crisis.
The UN also raised the alarm with Somalia’s UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator highlighting the huge funding gap we face. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Valerie Amos also addressed the UN Security Council to highlight how fragile and worrying the situation in Somalia is.
At that stage, the common appeal for humanitarian funds for Somalia was only 19% funded. In the past few weeks we have seen more money come through and the appeal now stands at 27%. Although this is a good step forward, there is still a huge funding gap and the UN has also raised concerns that life saving programs are at risk of closing. This will lead to an increase in preventable deaths, unless major donors step up and take responsibility to save lives in Somalia.
For more on this story, visit: Somalia: eight warnings of catastrophe so far, and still no action | Oxfam International Blogs.