2 $146.5 million is for food assistance as catastrophic drought cripples the country and pushes more than 7 million people to the brink of starvation.
3 The remaining nearly $5 million in humanitarian assistance will support disaster resilience and economic recovery and market systems activities.
4 Today‘s new funding builds on another recent funding increase of $476 million in humanitarian aid in July, bringing the US government’s contribution to more than $870 million for the people of Somalia, representing more half of all humanitarian funding for Somalia by 2022.
5 USAID’s critical assistance comes in response to an expert Famine Review Committee’s projection that a famine is likely to occur in Buur Hakaba and Baidoa districts in the southern Somalia this year, unless an urgent increase in humanitarian assistance reaches those most in need.
6 The United States is gravely concerned about this dire forecast and the rising level of humanitarian needs across the country, primarily as a result of a historically unprecedented drought marked by four consecutive failed rainy seasons.
7 Early projections of a failed fifth rainy season further threaten to condemn people in Somalia, already in dire conditions, to unbearable levels of suffering.
9 USAID will provide cash and vouchers for Somalis to purchase food at local markets, supporting the local economy and ensuring families facing hunger get what they need.
10 The new assistance will support the most vulnerable families who are at immediate risk of famine, with a special focus on people who have been forced to flee their homes due to drought.
11 Prior to the Famine Review Committee screening, USAID had already rapidly ramped up relief efforts to provide emergency assistance.
12 This includes providing emergency food assistance to at least 3.5 million people per month, providing life-saving treatment for malnutrition, responding to disease outbreaks and other health needs, providing protection and shelter services, and supplying communities with clean water.
14 The US government urges the international donor community to act immediately to increase humanitarian funding for the Somali people to prevent this famine projection from becoming a reality.