Humanitarian Situation in Somalia Remains Critical

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With famine conditions no longer present in Somalia, the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg underscored humanitarian situation remains critical as 2.5 million people are still in crisis.

Ms. Bragg urges the international community to build on the effective delivery of aid that helped roll back last year’s famine in Somalia.

She notes that the international community must build on the fragile gains.

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A malnourished child carried by a woman waits for medical attention from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), an active regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. UN Photo/Stuart Price

The number of people who need food aid decreased by 1.5 million, but 2.5 million people are still in crisis and that is a very large number, Ms. Bragg stressed.

She highlighted that focus should now be on on helping people regain their livelihoods, which is crucial to building resilience to future droughts and other shocks.

“The local and international aid workers collaborating in Somalia have proven they can make a difference.” – Ms. Bragg

The UN is strengthening coordination with key actors, including Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is vital to ensure that all of resources are used efficiently for the benefit of the Somali people, Ms. Bragg said.

In neighbouring Kenya, Ms. Bragg commended the Government for its commitment to strengthen the resilience of communities in drought-hit areas.

“I have just returned from meeting families in Isiolo in north-central Kenya who were affected by the 2011 drought crisis.” -Ms. Bragg

Last year’s drought made some 3.8 million Kenyans dependent on food aid and an estimated 2.2 million people remain in need of assistance, including 250,000 who are in humanitarian crisis.

On July 2011, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said airlifted emergency nutrition supplies and water equipment into Somalia, the country worst affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

On 24th of October 2011, US Secretary of State Secretary Clinton also announced an additional $100 million, primarily in food assistance, for drought-affected populations in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. With this announcement, the United States Government, the largest humanitarian donor to the region, is providing over $750 million to meet ongoing and urgent humanitarian needs, including approximately $175 million in humanitarian assistance for Somalia.

More than 13.3 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa, primarily in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The United States is deeply concerned by the humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa, the famine that is occurring in parts of Somalia, the ongoing conflict and political instability within Somalia, and the escalating refugee crisis across the region.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the region, now providing over $750 million in life-saving assistance to those in need. This assistance has reached nearly 4.6 million people, many of whom would otherwise have died from starvation or related diseases.

The United States remains committed to breaking the cycle of hunger and famine in the Horn of Africa and to this end will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need and call on others to join it in supporting the UN’s $1.5 billion 2012 Consolidated Appeal for Somalia.

Somalia has been in constant wars for past two past decades since the collapse of the Somali state in January 21, 1991. Millions of lives were lost and countless number of people had been internally displaced.

Somalia is the country worst affected by a severe drought that has ravaged large swaths of the Horn of Africa, leaving an estimated 11 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.