Across Somalia, some 2.9 million people urgently need food and livelihoods assistance resulting from severe drought. In the worst affected areas, crops have been wiped out and livestock have died, while communities have been forced to sell assets and borrow food and money to survive.
But Somalia is only one of four countries—along with Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria—facing conflict and drought and now approaching famine, with 20 million people near starvation in the worst preventable humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Such crises are closely linked to conflict, fragility, and insecurity. The United Nations is leading efforts by humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding partners in all four countries, delivering urgent aid and building resilience among vulnerable people over the longer term.
UNDP has maintained a robust, long-term presence in all four affected countries and has mobilized quickly and to revitalize communities and economies and restore residents’ dignity and hope.
In northeast Nigeria, 5.1 million people urgently need food and livelihoods assistance resulting from long-term social, political, and economic exclusion, along with violent conflict. Nearly seven out of 10 people were living below the extreme poverty line before the current crisis, and farmers have been unable to plant food crops for the third consecutive year after losing tools, seeds, and livestock.
UNDP is supporting livelihoods and businesses with small grants, skills training and trade assistance; repair or rebuilding of community infrastructure such as schools, water and sanitation, and government buildings, which also creates emergency jobs; and revival of agriculture with new seeds, tools, fertilizer, and livestock.
In Somalia, where nearly 3 million people urgently need food and livelihoods support, UNDP and OCHA have redirected programmes to the hardest hit areas. The new Somalia National Development Plan, devised last year with UNDP’s support, prioritized resilience and climate change. With OCHA, UNDP is supporting disaster preparedness in Somaliland and Puntland, working with humanitarian affairs and disaster management agencies and forming local disaster committees.
In South Sudan, some 5 million people urgently need food and livelihoods assistance following severe damage to crop production, rural livelihoods, and the economy broadly because of ongoing conflict. Recovery and stabilization are needed to stop the famine from spreading to as many as 1 million more people.
UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, UNHCR and FAO are working together to prevent the famine from spreading into other vulnerable areas—focusing on livelihoods, food security, local economic revitalization, basic services, and peace and reconciliation.
In Yemen, some 17 million people—65 percent of households—are now considered “food-insecure,” as a result of ongoing conflict that has killed more than 7,600 people and injured more than 42,000. Before the conflict erupted in March 2015, Yemen depended on imports for 90 percent of its staple food but now imports are restricted. Nor do the most vulnerable people, such as widows, orphans, the disabled, and elderly, receive government-funded monthly safety net allowances any longer.
UNDP Yemen has more than 100 staff and a network of partners on the ground implementing projects worth US$342 million across all 22 governorates to restore income and livelihoods as well as key basic services for up to 4.4 million people.