There’s a famine in Somalia, we need the world to wake up and help

By: Abdullahi Nur Osman, CEO of the Hormuud Salaam Foundation

Somalia is facing one its most pressing challenges in recent memory. With records showing that Somalia is facing its driest conditions in 40 years, currently 4.5 million Somalis are at risk of famine. A further 1.5 million are at risk of being internally displaced to cities like Mogadishu, which simply does not have the resources to support them.

Today, I stand with my countrymen to urge the international community to act now and prevent loss of life. This crisis is only going to get worse. This year’s rainy season, between April and June, is expected to be much lighter than anticipated, and it will be the fourth abnormally light rainy season in a row.

The impact is being hardest hit on Somalia’s agriculturalists and pastoralists, who account for a third of our GDP. It is these individuals and their children who are the backbone of our economy who will suffer most. We need the support of our international partners to keep our country afloat, and we need it urgently.

When the Somali Government recently called on the private sector to respond to the emerging crisis, the Hormuud Salaam Foundation was the first to step forward. Working with other businesses and the Central Government, we established the ‘Famine Relief Taskforce’. The Taskforce will provide a centralized body to collect and distribute donations gathered from the domestic private sector, and the Somali diaspora internationally.

In October 2021, our regional offices in the affected regions were some of the first to report the impending drought. Leaping into action, we arranged $200,000 worth of water aid to Lower Jubba and Gedo regions, through pre-existing humanitarian networks and infrastructure.

We will continue to utilize this infrastructure to deploy $2 million towards famine relief over

the next few months. Most of this pool of funds will be directly distributed to those in need through our EVC Plus mobile money wallet.

However, we fear that this response will not be enough. The global pandemic and security issues in Somalia have dramatically reduced the number of aid workers on the ground. This in turn has made it difficult for aid organizations to deploy funds and physical support at any speed.

Moreover, cuts to international aid mean that our $2million is just a drop in the amount that Somalia needs. Whilst the Somali Famine Response Taskforce will band together to alleviate some of this pressure, it’s not enough to stop irreversible damage to hundreds of thousands of lives.

Therefore Hormuud, and the Somali private sector are calling on the international community to not sit by to see how the situation will unfold but act now and save lives.

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Hormuud Telecom

Hormuud Telecom

Hormuud Telecom is Somalia’s leading telecommunication, mobile money, and internet provider.