A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
On 7 May 2014, 26 agencies asked the world to remember Somalia, where 2.9 million people are living in crisis. At that time, only 12 percent of Somalia’s humanitarian needs had been funded for 2014. That figure now stands at 27 percent - and we’re already halfway through the year.
In the last few weeks experts have been on the ground assessing what activities are needed where, to pull people out of crisis. Based on their findings, agencies are now asking for action across eight sectors to save lives and avoid a relapse to the catastrophe of 2011.
Learning the lessons
Somalia presents a unique and challenging context where destabilizing factors like conflict and cyclical drought are a regular feature. While gains have been made, communities still remain only one shock away from disaster. As we learned in 2011, not heeding the warning signs of crisis in already fragile communities can lead to tragedy.
Our organizations are working on the ground and know the reality. And it’s not good. Only 27 percent of Somalia’s humanitarian funding needs have been met so far this year – this means $104 million of $388 million requested. Funding needs to be able to respond to uncertainty and be invested in good time. There is a very real risk that people still in need will not be reached and those already helped will fall back into crisis.
We are in a position now to make a difference – as long as funds are available and flexible. Without action to address Somalia’s humanitarian and development needs, we are at risk of failing Somalis once more. Just because the figures may look “better”, now is not the time to be complacent.
- Action Africa Help International (AAH)
- Finn Church Aid
- International Aid Services
- International Rescue Committee
- Norwegian Church Aid
- Norwegian Refugee Council NRC)
- Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Finland
- Save the Children
- Solidarites International
- World Concern
- World Vision