The UN humanitarian agency said on Wednesday that shortage of funding continues to hamper life-saving response to the ongoing floods in Somalia.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) advisory board has approved a 9 million U.S. dollar reserve allocation to the worst floods affected areas.

“Thus far, 14 partners have reprogrammed 76,000 U.S. dollars and requested no-cost extensions thereby ensuring the continuity of ongoing responses in health, water, sanitation and hygiene and food security alongside the adoption of COVID-19 prevention techniques in line with cluster and Ministry of Health guidelines and standards,” OCHA said in its latest report.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), more than 650,000 Somalis had been forced to flee their homes since January due to flash and riverine flooding across Somalia.

Rapid assessments conducted in August indicate that communities in Hirshabelle and South West States are amongst the worst hit.

It said many of the newly displaced are now living in overcrowded, makeshift shelters constructed from old clothes, plastic bags, cardboard and sticks in already dire sites for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

The UN humanitarian said the Somalia humanitarian fund also continues to support COVID-19-related reprogramming requests from its partners.

It said the activities include targeted training, COVID-19-related messaging and awareness-raising sessions, purchase of PPE equipment for staff, construction of emergency latrines and installation of WASH facilities to ensure access to safe water in IDP settlements.

In addition, OCHA said despite generous donor contributions, humanitarian needs in Somalia remain worryingly high; noting that by Sept. 1, some 567 million U.S. dollars had been received against activities in the Humanitarian Response Plan.

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