May 30, 2024

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield announces $41 million in assistance to Somalia to tackle hunger

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, addresses the emergency Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, on Sunday, announced that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, will provide more than $41 million in funding to save lives and meet humanitarian needs in Somalia.  

 “The humanitarian situation in Somalia is as dire as any in the world right now,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield during a speech on food security in Mogadishu. The combination of the climate crisis; the supply chain crisis sparked by COVID; and conflicts – like the one caused by al-Shabaab, has brought that horrific word back to Somalia – famine.  

“Famine is the ultimate failure of the international community.  In a world abundant with food, entire communities should never, ever starve to death. I refuse to accept that failure,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “When the longest drought in Somalia’s record led to initial famine projections, the United States took action.”

 Since ​the beginning of ​2022’s fiscal year, the United States has provided 1.3 billion dollars of life-saving assistance to Somalia. U.S. funding last year accounted for more than 80 percent of the World Food Program’s emergency operations in the Horn of Africa. Four times greater than the contributions of all other countries combined. That aid has brought food, water, and shelter to the Somali people. As the United States surges support, it continues to work with all levels of Somalia’s government to increase security, and ensure humanitarian and development resources reach communities recently liberated from al-Shabaab.    

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 new funding bolsters U.S. famine prevention efforts with a targeted 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.

In a separate statement, USAID said that it 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,” added USAID.

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