Today (25 May 2023) the United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the British Embassy in Mogadishu, and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) announced the launch of a $10.5 million drought assistance and resilience program through the Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS) consortium.
The trilateral partnership builds upon famine prevention and resilience investments made by USAID, UKAID, and QFFD in 2021 to 2022. It will enable BRCiS to sustain lifesaving service delivery while accelerating recovery efforts over the next 6 months.
Severe drought, compounded by conflict, in Somalia has left 6.6 million people severely food insecure. Since January 2022, more than 3 million people have been displaced and mortality rates have surpassed those in 2017. An estimated 43,000 deaths have already occurred - half of which were among children under the age of 5. Without continued support, more than half a million children under the age of 5 are at risk of severe malnourishment and death this year.
Mike Nithavrianakis, British Ambassador to Somalia said:
The situation in Somalia remains critical. We applaud our partners' sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance which helped to avert nationwide famine this year. This is significant, but humanitarian aid alone cannot address the crisis. That is why the UK is reinforcing BRCiS' response through continued collaboration with the US and Qatar."
The tripartite collaboration will for the first time combine investments from the UK, US, and Qatar under one program, BRCiS. This will ensure the continued delivery of emergency cash assistance to purchase food and multi-sector humanitarian assistance, alongside resilience activities to ensure communities are protected and empowered.
Perrine Piton, BRCiS Chief of Party said:
These contributions will save lives. The funds will enable us to reinforce market-based systems that drive supply and demand initiatives while ensuring 41,000 people receive emergency food assistance (multi-purpose cash); 330,000 individuals have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene materials; and 175,000 people are provided with lifesaving health and nutrition services."
US Ambassador Larry André said:
BRCiS will continue to support the Somali people in their communities. Partnership - iskashi - is at the heart of the work of the United States with Somalia. This extension expands that partnership with the UK and Qatar to build on past success."
His Excellency Dr Abdullah bin Salim Al-Naimi, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Somalia, said:
The drought crisis has cast a shadow on the already worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This affected millions and has increased the threat of famine, displacement, food insecurity, and severe malnutrition among children, which imposes on everyone without exception.
Providing humanitarian and relief support would alleviate millions affected by humanitarian conditions, helping them to withstand these complex situations further, and working to save lives, which is primarily a human duty."