World Bank approves $143m for drought response in Somalia
The World Bank said it has approved 143 million U.S. dollars in International Development Assistance (IDA) financing to help vulnerable Somalis tackle severe drought and food insecurity conditions.
World Bank Country Manager for Somalia Kristina Svensson said in a statement on Thursday that the funds would support the country’s drought response through cash transfers to 500,000 households.
Svensson said the World Bank was doing all it could within the current program to protect the most vulnerable at this time of great need.
“We are leveraging partnerships with humanitarian actors to alleviate the situation before we lose more lives and livelihoods,” she added.
The lender said this additional financing to the existing Somalia Shock Responsive Safety Net for Human Capital Project (SNHCP), also known as Baxnaano (which means to uplift in Somali), will provide an extra boost to the country’s drought response.
It would also ensure the continuity of a regular safety net program which would deliver the much-needed cash assistance to chronically poor and vulnerable households.
“This is a lifeline for families that have been disproportionately affected by persistent shocks such as cyclical droughts and floods, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020-21 desert locust plague, among others,” the World Bank said.
This is the first time that Somalia had a nationwide social safety net program that could be rapidly deployed to help save lives.
The number of people dependent on humanitarian assistance and protection was forecast to rise to 7.7 million people in 2022, with an estimate of three million internally displaced persons and nearly 70 per cent of the population living below the international poverty line.
The World Bank said the additional financing would expand coverage of the parent project by 20,000 households.
It would also provide emergency cash transfers to 338,000 households, adding to the 160,000 households that were already receiving emergency cash transfers.