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Somali President declares humanitarian crisis a “National Disaster"

Hiiraan Online
Tuesday February 28, 2017

Mogadishu (HOL) - President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has declared the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia a “National Disaster” in a press release after holding held an emergency meeting with representatives from regional states and international partners.

In the statement, President Farmajo appealed to the International Community, the Somali business community and the diaspora to assist in the relief efforts “with the aim of mitigating the impact of the drought nationwide".

The high-level meeting is the first of its kind for this new administration. It was held in Halane to coordinate a response for the nearly millions of Somali’s in need of assistance and or the brink of famine.

Members of the Drought Response  Committee along with other civic stakeholders were part of the meeting.

In recent days, thousands of Somalis have trekked to Mogadishu desperately searching food and aid. The latest crisis has added nearly 10,000 new IDP’s in Mogadishu.

Responding to the humanitarian crises has been at the forefront of the Presidents immediate agenda. Last Thursday, President Farmajo nominated Hassan Ali Khaire - a former Regional Director with the Norwegian Refugee Council - as the Prime Minister. A move that many see as a proactive step in dealing with the disaster.

In a communique released following the high level roundtable meeting, President Farmajo says that this administration will draw on lessons learned from the devastating famine in 2011-2012 that claimed the lives of nearly a quarter million Somalis. It was agreed that the role of the National Drought Response Committee will be strengthened. They also pledge to increase intra-regional coopearation to better respond to the crisis as well as to establish a long term food security strategy.

It also says that special accounts have been set up by the Federal Government in the Central Bank of Somalia and six commercial banks to recieve donations from concerned individuals. The communique says that these accounts will be independently audited every six months and the statements will be made public through the Ministry of Finance website to ensure transparency. 

Click here to read the communique.

Currently, the U.N Humanitarian appeal in 2017 for Somalia stands at $864 million to provide assistance to 4 million people, but aid agencies are saying that it won’t be enough for the severe drought.

Somalia is at risk of facing its third famine in 25 years with half of the population in Somalia - 6.2 million - in dire need of humanitarian aid and a further 3 million facing urgent food insecurity.


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