The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has committed 1.9 million U.S. dollars to Somalia in emergency funding to support health systems and communities faced with climate change disasters.
The funds will cover food support for over 2,800 tuberculosis (TB) patients and 374 multidrug-resistant TB patients, the Global Fund said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
Somalia is facing severe drought following four consecutive failed rainy seasons — a climate event not seen in at least 40 years, according to the United Nations.
Mark Edington, head of Grant Management at The Global Fund, said the emergency funding will also enable teams on the ground to conduct outreach activities in over 3,300 camps for internally displaced people.
Edington said persistent displacement caused by drought has detrimental implications for access to TB services and encourages the disease to spread.
“TB patients may have no choice but to move away from their current settlements in search of food, water and humanitarian assistance.
To end TB epidemics and address threats to global health security, we need to reach the most vulnerable people with prevention and treatment services — wherever they are,” he said.
TB is a major cause of death in Somalia, and the death rate from TB in Somalia was 68 per 100,000 in 2020, according to the 2021 Global TB Report.
The Global Fund said the emergency funds will cover HIV, TB, and malaria program activities, such as providing sanitation kits, living support packages, nutritional support for children, and water purification/filters.
It will also be used to renovate health facilities and replace destroyed equipment in laboratories.