High-Level Roundtable on the Horn of Africa Drought

Intervention at the EU/OCHA High-Level Roundtable on the Horn of Africa Drought by Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim

Allow me to thank the EU and OCHA for organizing today’s important meeting.

We share the concerns and hear the calls from the previous speakers.

Norway is deeply worried by the ongoing drought on the Horn of Africa. There is acute food insecurity and severe water shortages. Up to 20 million people are at risk.

This rainy season is expected to be the fourth in a row with below average rainfall. The drought is becoming one of the worst climate-induced emergencies we have seen in the region. Communities struggle to cope with the consequences of recurring shocks, including conflict, rising food prices, flooding, and COVID-19.

Families are taking desperate measures to survive, with hundreds of thousands leaving their homes in search of food, water, and pasture. Millions of children are affected.

This is also a displacement crisis. Only in Somalia, more than 700 000 people have been driven from their homes, with numbers projected to rise. Climate-related impacts further stress vulnerable communities, increasing the risk of conflict and displacement.

The consequences for women and children are devastating. The drought has increased gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse. Children’s access to education is hampered.

Norway is a significant donor to the Horn of Africa. We provided core support to main humanitarian partners early in the year. This includes the CERF, where the Norwegian contribution amounts to approximately 10%.

Norway recently pledged additional 200 million Norwegian kroner in humanitarian assistance to the region. An allocation has already been effectuated to the Somalia Humanitarian Fund to respond to immediate needs. 

We must adopt an integrated response to solve the crisis over time; Norway has decided to increase its support to food security and climate smart agricultural production.

But right now, we need to scale up immediate life-saving assistance. Our response must be based on the needs and voices of local communities and organizations.

This drought could be disastrous if we don’t act now. We must come together to save lives. Norway will do its part.

Thank you.