U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said al-Shabaab’s efforts to block NGO access to the most vulnerable areas of Somalia and its limitations on the delivery of life-sustaining humanitarian assistance has exacerbated this crisis.
At a UN High-Level meeting on Somalia, Ms. Clinton stressed that as the famine persists and al-Shabaab continues to deny Somalis access to life-saving assistance, the TFG and the international community have to work even harder together.
“The political instabilty, the limited rule of law, the security threats have tragically affected Somalis for many years, and today it has an added tragic consequence because it has prevented many Somalis from getting acess to aid during the drought and famine.” -Ms. Clinton
She cited that fully one-third of all Somalis are now displaced in their own country or in countries bordering Somalia. The U.S. has provided more than $600 million in the crisis response, including approximately 102 million directly for Somalia to increase access to clean water, sanitation, heath, and of course, food.
“And I am pleased that the United States today will be contributing an additional $42 million for the region with $30 million specifically for the people of Somalia.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton sent a message to al-Shabaab. She pointed out that the United States and its partners, including the Arab League and the OIC, must continue to call on al-Shabaab to allow unfettered access.
“I honestly do not understand what is in it for them, what possible ideological or political motive can compel them to see women and children die because they cannot get access to help.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton congratulated the Somali leaders and the international partners gathered today by signing the roadmap for ending the transition in Somalia.
“You have taken a crucial step toward building a stable, prosperous future for the Somali people. And we have an opportunity today because of the withdrawal of al-Shabaab forces from most parts of Mogadishu.” -Ms. Clinton