Almost eight million people face extreme hunger in Somalia and more than 213,000 are at “imminent risk of dying” after four failed rainy seasons, according to the UN.
So it should be a relief that after a slow start, over 70% of the UN’s $1.46bn fundraising target for aid has now been reached.
One major humanitarian organisation on the ground tells the BBC it has in fact raised more money than it aimed to.
But it still cannot deliver food, water or cash to many of those who need it the most. The reason, says a senior representative who did not want to be named, is US counterterror legislation.
Agencies which get money from the US need to ensure their aid does not fall into the hands of “terrorists” – and large parts of southern Somalia are controlled by al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda and considered a terrorist group by both the US and UK.
“We cannot even move one step,” an official from a second major aid agency tells the BBC, also speaking on condition of anonymity.