Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced today that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing more than $41 million in new, urgently-needed assistance for the people of Somalia. The impacts of the prolonged drought are resulting in an overwhelming number of hunger-related deaths and extreme levels of human suffering, and famine remains a significant threat in parts of the country. Today’s new funding bolsters U.S. famine prevention efforts with a focus on addressing extreme food gaps, treating severe malnutrition in women and children, and combating the current outbreak of deadly diseases like measles and cholera.
This new assistance comes as the drought intensifies following a fifth failed rainy season, putting people at risk of further devastation and despair. Today’s announcement of more than $41 million will meet urgent needs for nearly 860,000 people across Somalia and enhance humanitarian coordination critical for the response.
USAID will provide emergency food assistance, deliver life-saving nutrition supplies and treatment for malnourished children and women in rural communities, respond to disease outbreaks and other health needs using mobile health teams, provide life-saving protection services to the most marginalized women and girls, especially those in drought-affected areas, and will supply individuals living in crowded internal displacement sites with safe drinking water, sanitation, and improved hygiene.
Today’s commitment builds on $411 million in USAID assistance delivered in December, bringing the U.S. government’s contribution to more than $1.3 billion since the start of Fiscal Year 2022.
However, as Somalia edges on the brink of catastrophic famine, we urge other donors to give this crisis the attention it deserves and act immediately to scale up humanitarian funding for the Somali people. Recent Famine Review Committee findings have already shown that a swift increase of humanitarian assistance – mobilized in large part by the United States – delayed the onset of famine in parts of Somalia last year. The United States believes that with additional contributions from other donors, we can avert famine altogether.