Following a public event – On the verge of famine in the Horn of Africa – on 7 June, a group of senior Somali and UK humanitarian actors and independent experts met at ODI to discuss the urgent food security crisis in East Africa, and in Somalia in particular. While acknowledging the current challenging political and funding environment for catalysing action, there was consensus that there has not been sufficient leadership, prioritisation and collective effort amongst UK-based humanitarian, political, or media stakeholders in relation to this crisis.
There was agreement that:
- The climatic situation is unprecedented, extreme and likely to worsen into 2023.
- There is a likelihood of mass starvation.
- A funding gap is a key impediment to preventing widespread deaths.
- The severity of the crisis demands prioritisation of those most at risk of mortality.
- Urgent scaling-up of ambition and coordinated, strategic efforts across UK humanitarian stakeholders commensurate with the scale of the crisis are required.
We outline what a coordinated effort should look like, as urgent action is needed now.