17 January 2018: The office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan with a call for long-term solutions for drought, conflict and displacement. Various country programmes and partnerships have announced similar initiatives in recent months, aimed at reducing the vulnerability of drought-affected populations and contributing to improved resilience.
Recalling that international cooperation helped avert famine during the 2017 drought, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, stressed that more must be done to eliminate the looming threat of famine by continuing to focus on saving lives, while building resilience. The 2018 plan includes an appeal for US$1.6 billion to protect the lives of 5.4 million people, based on projections that the number of people on the brink of famine grew ten-fold in just one year. In addition to prioritizing immediate relief operations in areas with significant numbers of people living in crisis and emergency situations, the plan also includes a strategy to address protection gaps for those most vulnerable, such as the internally displaced, women and children.
While welcoming progress made on the political and governance fronts, de Clercq cautioned that “these gains are reversible and must be protected,” including through continued international support. Diverse humanitarian agencies and development partners are providing support to the Somali government aimed at addressing the underlying causes of recurring crises, including food insecurity and mass displacement. These efforts include the development of a Recovery and Resilience Framework for the country, informed by a Drought Impact Needs Assessment. [UN Press Release] [UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Press Release]
Similar programmes and initiatives to strengthen resilience in other drought-affected countries and regions have been announced in recent months. They include: the launch of Slovakia’s National Action Plan to Combat Drought; expert consultations on the South Asia Drought Monitoring System; and an agreement by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of India to improve incomes and strengthen drought resilience for 165,000 farming households in the five driest districts in Andhra Pradesh. [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on World Bank and OCHA Drought Report] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on International Water and Land Meetings to Combat Drought] [GWP Press Release on Slovakia] [GWP Press Release on Sri Lanka] [IFAD Press Release on Andhra Pradesh]
References: International Institute for Sustainable Development. (2018). Retrieved from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/un-agencies-and-partners-explore-lasting-solutions-to-somali-drought/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2018-01-25%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE&utm_content=2018-01-25%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE+CID_c7aaf68249879e1290bf73cb9ba22b86&utm_source=cm&utm_term=UN%20Agencies%20and%20Partners%20Explore%20Lasting%20Solutions%20to%20Somali%20Drought