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 A combined $18.7 million has been released from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) to scale up life-saving assistance to just over half a million people affected by floods in Somalia. “These funds come at a critical time, enabling humanitarian partners to scale up the delivery of life-saving aid to the most vulnerable flood-affected people,” said Adam Abdelmoula, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “It is crucial that we urgently deliver assistance to the people who have been affected by this crisis, but we also need to look into doing everything we can in the future to minimise the impact of these recurrent climate-related events.” The $8 million from CERF will enable UN agencies and their partners to sustain and scale up their ongoing time-critical interventions in the worst-affected areas of Bay, Hiraan, and Middle Shabelle through the provision of food assistance, deployment of rapid response teams and support for health facilities, provision of non-food items and emergency shelter, but also emergency water services, sanitation and hygiene. CERF funds will also be used to support the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which helps move essential humanitarian goods and personnel in areas that have been hard to reach due to floods.

The $10.7 million from the SHF supports priority life-saving humanitarian interventions of national and international non-governmental partners operating in the most affected areas through integrated and clusterspecific interventions, in close alignment with the CERF-funded response. In addition to support for emergency education, food security, health, nutrition, shelter and water and sanitation activities, the SHF funds will also help boost some critical protection services for women, children and other most vulnerable groups.

The latest CERF grant brings CERF funding to Somalia to $50 million in 2019, while the SHF – funded by Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – has allocated $51 million to-date.

Moderate to heavy rains that started in October, have caused flooding in low-lying areas along the Shabelle and Juba rivers. Belet Weyne (Hiran), Baidoa and Berdale (Bay) and parts of Middle Shabelle are the worst-affected regions. The rains have destroyed infrastructure, farmlands and roads, disrupted livelihoods, and inundated houses in many locations. In total, an estimated 370,000 people have been displaced due to floods as of 5 November 2019. The risks of malnutrition and diseases outbreak such as malaria and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) remain a concern in many flood-affected settlements.

Despite expanded assistance, significant gaps remain in the provision of basic water, sanitation and health services, food assistance and emergency shelter. The United Nations and partners estimate that at least an additional $50 million is required for the immediate life-saving response to floods. Scaling up of livelihoods, alongside the continuous mitigation of the impact the recent drought need to be sustained in order to prevent the deterioration in food security as heavy rains are expected to continue in November and December.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).