On October 2, 2019, in Mogadishu, Diana Putman, a Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced that the U.S. Government is providing nearly $257 million in additional humanitarian assistance in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 to help the people of the Federal Republic of Somalia. The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Somalia, and this latest announcement brings the total contributed by the American people in FY 2019 for Somalia to nearly $498 million.
At the Somalia Partnership Forum, Ms. Putman explained, “This additional financial commitment is representative of our resolve to support the Somali people in their time of need, and we encourage other partners to join us in stepping up their own commitments so that we can collectively close the Humanitarian Response Plan’s financing gap.”
The assistance will address life-threatening hunger and acute malnutrition and provide safe water, emergency health care, education, and protection to people affected by ongoing conflict and recurrent drought inside Somalia, and to Somali refugees in neighboring countries. Somalia recently experienced its worst harvest in 25 years, and up to 2.1 million people could face life-threatening hunger by December of this year, according to the latest estimates. Additionally, approximately 2.6 million people – or one in five Somalis – are internally displaced, while more than 730,000 are seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
The U.S. Government remains concerned about the ongoing crisis in Somalia and the lack of sufficient humanitarian funds to address it. Large-scale assistance is urgent to prevent conditions in Somalia from worsening. The United States encourages other donors to increase their contributions to address Somalia’s critical humanitarian needs, and to help the most-vulnerable Somalis build resilience to withstand future shocks. The United Nations estimates that an additional $500 million in humanitarian funding is needed in Somalia through December 2019.