JUNE 18 – Failing and intermittent rains are wrecking havoc in Somalia and
Somaliland, but we are increasingly asking, is anyone listening? 2.2 million people
are facing extreme hunger and 5.4 million need humanitarian assistance as of May’s
end. It’s a staggering 15% increase from 4.6 million in December. Small-scale
emergency funding was recently disbursed, but is inadequate for such vast needs.
“This massive spike in people requiring humanitarian assistance shows just how
fragile the situation is for millions of Somalis.
A huge injection of funding is urgently needed to save lives. We know early intervention is the best and most cost-effective way to save lives, particularly for women and children, who are always the most at-risk,” says Amina Haji, Executive Director of Save Somali Women and Children.
As needs become clearer, the UN, national and international organisations and
Somali authorities are consistently raising the alarm, yet the response remains
muted. Recent weeks saw some intense, short rain in some locales, which although
replenishing some water sources, also caused extensive flooding and damage. For
the majority of Somalis dependent on livestock, who saw their herds decimated in the
2017 drought, there are few animals left to capitalise on any new pasture.
Agricultural production is also severely reduced. It’s hardship upon hardship for
vulnerable Somalis.
The situation is dire and only predicted to get worse.We adhere to a ‘no regrets’ policy rather than a ‘wait and see’ approach that is often too late. We are already acting, but are restrained by lack of support.
We already have a catastrophe, but there’s time to avert the very real possibility of mass
starvation. A massively scaled up response is urgently needed. As a platform for
local NGOs working closely with communities, we expect maximum funding to be
channelled as directly as possible to local organisations to maximise impact.
“The international community has the commitment to increase humanitarian funding
to local actors, and nowhere is this more relevant. Local civil society bears the
highest security risks to deliver life saving assistance to communities that we know
best through our daily outreach. Commitments towards the localisation of aid must
be upheld to ensure the best possible response and maximum benefits for extremely
vulnerable communities,” says Degan Ali, Director of Adeso.
We must collectively step up to the challenge with context specific, long-term and
locally driven solutions to problems facing Somalis. This is exactly the reason Nexus
was formed: to respond as a locally led and highly diverse platform of nine local
organizations with an average of over 20 years of experience working directly with all
communities in some of the most hard to reach areas of Somalia.
Nexus is a platform for locally led change, pioneered by Adeso, CPD, GREDO,
HAVOYOCO, KAALO, SSWC, SADO, TASCO and WASDA, with support from
Oxfam and Save the Children. Nexus: Strong Together.
Chair: SSWC. Halima Adan. halima@sswc-som.com
Deputy-Chair: Oxfam. Dustin Barter. dustin.barter@oxfam.org