Somalia: Press Statement on the Drought Appeal (20.01.2017)

somaliland-drought

It is estimated that the drought is affecting close to 5 million people and they are in need of emergency food, water and medical supplies.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 20, 2017 –The President of Somali Federal Republic, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, hold a breakfast meeting for the Arab League Ambassadors and representatives in Mogadishu with the National Drought Response Committee, which consists of FGS FMS, Civil Societies. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the drought situation and its implications on the people and their livelihoods.

The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs, Dr Yahye Ibrahim, who chairs the committee, briefed the President, the Ambassadors and representatives on the relentless drought and its severity. He informed that this devastating drought did not only affect the livestock and farming which is the livelihood of rural populations but also caused the death of our people due to insufficient rainfall in the last four seasons. It is estimated that the drought is affecting close to 5 million people and they are in need of emergency food, water and medical supplies. Records indicate that this is the worst drought in 25 years if not sixty years.

Shiekh Nur Barud Gurxan, an active committee member and respected Islamic Scholar , reinforces the message of urgency and the dire need for an emergency support to affected communities. He noted that the Arab League has continuously been supportive of the Somali people in its hour of need. We are aware of the calamities in other Arab, brotherly nations of Yemen, Libya and Syria. We wish them, but the Somali drought situation is very critical.

Speaking on behalf of the League of Arab nations. Amb Mohamed Idris welcomed the government’s initiative. He commented on the progress Somali made over the years but at the same time acknowledged the difficult it faces with this biting drought. Ambassador Idris promised that there would be a swift action for the Arab League member states to support the Somali people. He said that they don’t want to see a repeat of the 2010/11/12 drought. He also further said “Rest assured we will mobilise the Arab League member states, and we are here to work with you in your hour of need”.

The President, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, thanked the Arab League diplomatic community for attending this breakfast. The President also thanked the Committee for the excellent work they have done so far.

His Excellency, the President, reiterated that this is of the worst droughts for a long time. It hugely affected nomadic communities and those rely on subsistence farming. The vulnerable groups such as the sick, children and the elderly are dying due to hunger. The President told the gathering diplomats and other dignitaries that as a nation “we are trying to organise ourselves, and there is a local mobilisation effort underway to support those severely affected. For example, all government institutions are making financial donations. We are about to start levying extra taxes on certain commodities and services and deductions from the salaries of the civil servents”. Unfortunately, our efforts alone will not be enough. The Arab League Member States had always been supportive of the Somali people.

The President strongly requested the Arab League diplomats to engage the Arab media to inform the Arab masses of the situation of the Somali drought.

The President acknowledges the unwavering support of the International community to the Somali people; further welcoming the recent humanitarian appeal for the Somali drought.

Finally, the President sent an emergency appeal to the League of Arab Nations, Organisation of Islam Countries to positively respond to this drought appeal; your immediate intervention is critical.

Somalia: Humanitarians launch US$864 million appeal to reach 3.9 million People (17.01.2017)

 

Somalia Draught Quotes

The Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia for 2017 plan was launched today in Mogadishu with calls to the international community for timely support to help bolster humanitarian operations and meet urgent humanitarian needs.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 17, 2017 -The humanitarian community in Somalia is seeking US$864 million to reach 3.9 million people with urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance. The Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia for 2017 plan was launched today in Mogadishu with calls to the international community for timely support to help bolster humanitarian operations and meet urgent humanitarian needs.

“The humanitarian situation remains grim for millions of Somalis. We are faced with a slight but steady increase in the number of people in need, and most recently with a significant risk of further deterioration to famine,” said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

The launch of the HRP comes against a backdrop of a worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia. Expanding drought conditions have left hundreds of thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages. Overall, some 5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. About 320,000 children under the age of 5 years are acutely malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition support. Of these, 50,000 children are severely malnourished and far more vulnerable than any other group.

Protection violations remain at the centre of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and widespread human rights violations, instability and insecurity drive displacement and weaken the resilience of the most vulnerable. At least 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable people are exposed to protection risks. Some 3.3 million people lack access to emergency health services and require improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Giving birth is one of the greatest risks to a Somali woman’s life. The maternal mortality ratio for Somalia is among the highest in the world at 732 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Around 3 million school-age children are still out of school with numbers increasing and placing children at greater risk as the impacts of shocks deepen.

“Immediate support is required to prevent a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation. Given the early warning provided by the humanitarian community and the Federal Government on the drought situation, early action is the only way to demonstrate that we have learnt the lessons from the past to avert another catastrophe,” added de Clercq.

The response plan seeks to strengthen emergency response preparedness measures, in collaboration with federal and local authorities, to mitigate the impact of predictable shocks and continue to build stronger linkages between life-saving and development-based durable solutions. It provides an opportunity for humanitarian and development actors to strengthen collaboration in addressing both life-saving and long term durable solutions to address underlying causes of vulnerability.

The 2017 plan is part of a three-year strategy (2016-2018), which recognizes that the drivers of risk and vulnerability in Somalia are largely cyclical and long-running, and cannot be resolved in a single year. Enhancing communities’ ability to cope with shocks through the long-term sustainable livelihood support and basic services, including durable solutions, in a community-based approach, will be vital in addressing underlying causes of vulnerabilities.

Incumbent Speaker of Somalia’s House of the People re-elected (11.01.2017)

somali-election

Mogadishu, 11 January 2017 – The incumbent Speaker of the federal parliament’s House of the People, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, was re-elected to another four-year term during voting that was held today in the Somali capital.

Mr. Jawari received 141 votes to defeat three other candidates for the key legislative post.
In his victory speech, Mr. Jawari appealed to his fellow members of parliament (MPs) to put aside their political differences for the sake of their constituents. “Today there is no winner or loser. It is the Somali people who have won,” he said.

The runner-up in the voting for the Speaker’s post was Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig, who garnered 97 votes, followed by Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim Geesey and Idriss Abdi Dhaqtar, who received 17 votes and two votes, respectively. Two ballots were spoilt.

“It was an honour for me to contest for the seat of Speaker of Parliament. Speaker Jawari is my friend and I congratulate him for the win,” said Mr. Hidig, who pledged to explore other avenues for serving the Somali people.

Members of parliament expressed confidence in Mr. Jawari’s leadership. “I look forward to his leadership, seeing him set up parliamentary structures. We have high expectations of him because he has the experience,” said Mariam Haji Abdi Gedi, an MP from Galmudug state.

Two hundred and fifty-nine members of the House of the People voted in the landmark election that was witnessed by representatives of the international community, key stakeholders and senior federal government officials.

Mr. Jawari was elected Speaker of the country’s ninth federal Parliament in 2012, after having previously served as a cabinet minister in the Siad Barre regime.

As Speaker of the House of the People, he will preside over the election of two deputy speakers later this week. Mr. Jawari will then join his counterpart as speaker of the Upper House in overseeing the upcoming presidential election in both houses of the federal parliament.

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