Monday September 16, 2019
Displaced Somalis queue for food-aid rations at a distribution centre in the capital Mogadishu on January 19, 2012. In Baidoa, nearly 360,000 people fled slow onset drought, terrorist attacks and armed conflict. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
With the latest analysis showing that Somalia’s main harvest was the worst since the famine in 2011, humanitarian agencies are calling for sustained funding for the country.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Mark Lowcock last week Thursday called for continued support to protect recent gains made in beating hunger and reiterated the importance of the Government’s Resilience and Recovery Framework, which is key in efforts to end recurring humanitarian crises in Somalia.
He was speaking at the end of a two-day mission to Somalia with the World Bank Group’s senior vice president for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships, Mahmoud Mohieldin, and the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.
“The latest food security analysis for Somalia shows that our response is working. One million fewer Somalis are hungry today than had been projected because we acted early and because aid workers are able to deliver,” said Mr Lowcock.
“The analysis also showed that the harvest from the April-June crop season is the worst since 2011 because of poor and erratic rains, followed by flooding at the end of the rainy season. As a result, up to six million people are now projected to be food insecure over the coming months. A third of them will be severely food insecure without sustained aid. And climate-related events will continue to have deleterious effects.”
Over the past 30 years, droughts have become more intense and frequent in the country, which also faces recurring flooding during the rainy seasons. Much of Somalia’s infrastructure is dilapidated as a result of the decades-long conflict and lack of investment, which further undermines the country’s ability to cope.
Together with ongoing conflict, these shocks continue to drive people from their homes. The 2.6 million people already displaced are often marginalised on the fringes of society, facing evictions and other indignities.
The delegation visited Baidoa where nearly 360,000 people who fled slow onset drought, terrorist attacks and armed conflict over the past three years live in 400 sites in and around the town.
“A sustained humanitarian response must be combined with government-led developmental and peacebuilding approaches to promote reconciliation and to assist people to rebuild their country,” said Mr Fernandez-Taranco.
The Peacebuilding Fund that his office manages is supporting the Midnimo project, which brings together humanitarian, development and peacebuilding elements to address the impact of displacement in Baidoa.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in Baidoa, the three officials commended the government for its leadership on the Recovery and Resilience Framework and reiterated their commitment to supporting the government to address the impact of disasters.
“The World Bank will continue to support Somalia’s efforts to boost investment in its productive sectors and infrastructure in line with the priorities of the Recovery and Resilience Framework and the new National Development Plan for 2020-2024,” said Mr Mohieldin, adding, “We welcome the authorities’ efforts to sustain the positive track record established over the past few years on institutional and economic governance reforms.”