By Mohammed Dhaysane
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – The UN humanitarian action office on Monday announced that it launched a 2022 humanitarian response plan for Somalia, seeking $1.5 billion to assist 5.5 million people in need.
The figure includes 3.2 million women and girls, 3.5 million children, 8,000 people with disabilities, and 2,000 elderly, according a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia.
"Timely and early funding is critical in saving lives now," the UN said on Twitter.
The global organization has released $17 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund, bringing the funding for Somalia this year to $52 million. It said almost $60 million have been provided by donors to Somalia humanitarian fund as well.
Some areas in Somalia are witnessing the worst drought in four decades, according to Oxfam International, a global NGO.
Somalia declared a state of humanitarian emergency due to drought in November and called for an urgent humanitarian assistance.
The UN in December called for an urgent action to address the critical need for water due to the worsening situation.
More than 2 million people in 66 districts are in acute need and will require immediate lifesaving water, sanitation and hygiene services for the next six months, according to the UN.
Among the most at risk are 1.7 million children and women who are exposed to protection risks due to limited water resources.
The worst affected regions include Gedo, Bay, Bakol, Lower Jubba, Galgadud, Mudug and parts of Bari, Nugaal, Sool, Sanaag, Togdheer and Hiraan regions.
Somalia faces third consecutive failed rainy season for the first time in over 30 years.