Friday November 17, 2017
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is partnering with the Government of Somalia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide emergency humanitarian relief assistance in the form of food and water to an estimated 25,800 drought-affected people in the south-western state of Baidoa and the Jubaland state of Dollow.
Internally displaced people will be among the beneficiaries.“Drought and conflict in the South West State has resulted in a high influx of displaced families in Baidoa town. This project has come at a time when the community is in critical need of support,” said Mohamed Hassan Faqi, Somalia’s Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation.
Somalia’s Gu (April–June) rainy season was significantly below average, creating severe drought across all regions. Baidoa town, which is one of the most affected areas currently holds the highest numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. According to IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix, over 243,000 people migrated to the area between November 2016 and September 2017.
The influx to Baidoa and Dollow occasioned by the drought have severely strained available basic services increasing the demand for emergency life-saving assistance. The living conditions in the IDP settlements and host communities remain dire.
“Providing displaced families and their host communities clean and safe water is one of the priorities established by Somalia’s Federal Government, and regional state authorities, and humanitarian actors, as it contributes towards emergency response, early recovery and community stabilization in the region. The drought still exists and the South West State authorities appeal to the international humanitarian organizations to continue assist drought affected people to avert famine,” added Faqi.
“Access to Food and safe clean Water is a major challenge not only for the displaced persons but also for the whole community living in Baidoa, Dollow and surrounding areas,” said Omar Khayre, IOM Water Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Manager. The project’s objectives are aligned to the Federal Government’s priorities, the Humanitarian Response Plan and priorities set by the WASH and Food Security clusters to prevent famine.
“As the people in Baidoa and Dollow towns have increased drastically by 40 to 50 per cent, the current basic services provided by humanitarian agencies cannot meet the needs of vulnerable persons. The project will contribute towards covering the critical immediate needs for relief assistance especially the pressing need for water and food,” said Khayre.
Since January 2017, IOM has provided conditional and unconditional food and water to the drought affected persons in Somalia. Over 200 million litres of clean and safe water to approximately 570,000 people across its target regions through a water voucher mechanism. IOM is also conducting intensive hygiene and sanitation promotion activities among at-risk communities, having reached an estimated 563,000 people with behavioral change messages between January and October 2017.