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PRESS RELEASEJanuary 10, 2023

World Bank Supports Somalia’s Drought Response with Additional $50 Million

MOGADISHU, January 10, 2023 — The World Bank approved $50 million in additional financing through an International Development Association (IDA) Crisis Response Window (CRW) grant for the Somalia Urban Resilience Project Phase II (SURP-II). This will provide critical resources to scale-up the project’s ongoing support to a total of $70 million for drought-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) flowing into urban centers and improve their access to basic services.

Somalia is on the brink of famine. Over 7.8 million people are estimated to be affected by severe water shortages. A probable fifth consecutive failed rainy season could prolong drought conditions into 2023. The impact of drought has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising commodity prices due to the Ukraine war. People are experiencing on average a 30% decline in income. The increased inflow of IDPs due to the ongoing drought is exacerbating pressure on already overstretched cities. Mogadishu and Baidoa alone host more than half of the newly displaced.

“The World Bank supported drought response puts the government in the driver’s seat to coordinate and oversee the emergency response,” said Kristina Svensson, World Bank Country Manager for Somalia. “Thanks to its existing partnerships and capacity in key urban areas, SURP-II is uniquely positioned to quickly deliver critical services to reach the neediest populations.”

The additional financing will build on SURP-II’s existing institutional structures embedded in the government to oversee and coordinate the project’s drought response to be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its partners. This project will provide water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, and nutrition services as well as emergency cash transfers to help address the dire situation in Mogadishu, Baidoa, and Garowe, which are experiencing a large inflow of over 600,000 people this year alone. This effort will benefit more than 350,000 people.

“SURP-II is the only project that has established implementation arrangements at the municipal level and has ongoing experience providing drought response,” said Makiko Watanabe, World Bank Senior Urban Specialist. “It will not only address the immediate needs of the IDPs, but will also contribute to longer-term development outcomes by leveraging the project’s ongoing infrastructure and urban governance investments to facilitate coordination and service delivery.”  

SURP-II’s support for the drought-induced IDPs flowing into urban centers complements the World Bank’s overall drought response for Somalia totaling $383.9 million. While other Bank projects collectively help alleviate the impacts of drought in rural areas, none of them operate in urban areas where the majority of drought-induced IDPs are coming. The project’s drought response will leverage a whole-of government approach. While participating municipal governments will be responsible for day-to-day coordination and oversight, the federal and state governments have essential roles to provide higher level coordination and to provide strategic guidance.

“The additional financing provided by the Bank will be valuable in supporting the participating municipalities in delivering services to the most vulnerable members of the community at this critical time,” added Dr. Elmi Nur, Minister of Finance for the Federal Government of Somalia.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $496 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $34.7 billion over the last three years (FY20-FY22), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks



In Nairobi
Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed
In Washington
Daniella van Leggelo-Padilla


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