Horn of Africa Pledging Falls Short, Puts Millions of Lives Further at Risk

May 24, 2023

Following today's High-level Pledging Event to Support the Humanitarian Response in the Horn of Africa, Mercy Corps is deeply concerned about the likely consequences of a major funding shortfall. $7 billion is needed to help nearly 32 million people in the region who require life-saving and life-sustaining assistance, including food, shelter, and other services. Yet, world leaders pledged a total of $2.4 billion in funding for the humanitarian response in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia in 2023.

Mercy Corps Deputy Director for Africa, Allison Huggins, says:

"We welcome the UN Secretary-General and other global donors and partners, including the UK and the US, for co-hosting the pledging conference to support the humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa, and for the $2.4 billion for the response from donors, including an additional $524 million from the US government.  

"However, we take it with a grain of salt because many of these pledges were just confirmations of existing financing commitments and remain insufficient in light of the region's urgent and expanding needs and the many lives still hanging in the balance. 

"The people of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia contribute less than 0.1 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are suffering the consequences of human-induced climate change. This is one of the biggest climate injustices of our time, with today's decisions impacting generations to come. 

"Donors must promptly close the $7 billion funding gap for the Horn of Africa to continue saving millions of lives that are still in jeopardy and invest so that people in this region will be able to cope, adapt, and survive future droughts as climate-change disasters are becoming more frequent. 

"People will continue to die from hunger and malnutrition if they are not supported with long-term and scaled-up investments that address immediate needs while contributing to resilience and climate adaptation. Investing in resilience measures today will not only help to save lives and livelihoods in the future but also prevent the need for huge investments in humanitarian assistance in the future."