Statement on Horn of Africa Drought: More Funding Critical to Prevent Disaster

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 10, 2019)—In response to the release of $45 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to support drought-affected people across parts of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, Save the Children’s Regional Emergencies Director Thomas Jepson-Lay said:

“Children are already malnourished in Somalia, which is expected to be the country worst affected by the drought. Just one in four children in Puntland has access to sufficient food, and nearly half of all families tell us they have already started to reduce what they eat. We are already hearing of increased food prices and drought-related livestock deaths.

“In 2011, drought and famine in Somalia killed more than 125,000 children under five in one brutal year.  The threat could not be more real. An unaddressed funding gap of this size is as good as a death sentence to children in Somalia. With the right funds allocated now, we can protect livelihoods, scale up food, water and nutrition supplies, and avoid the worst in the 2019 drought. We can prevent children dying. Two years ago, we averted a famine because enough funds were allocated early. To repeat this success, Somalia alone needs $700 million. While Save the Children welcomes the allocation of $45 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to prepare for the looming drought in the Horn of Africa, it alone is nowhere near enough.”

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