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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

UN agencies appeal for U.S. $16 billion
dollars to reach 5.4 million Somalis

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The UN agencies working in Somalia on Wednesday launched humanitarian appeal for 2018, seeking 1.6 billion U.S. dollars to reach 5.4 million people with urgent life-saving assistance.

Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia who launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2018 Plan in Mogadishu, said the money is urgently needed to save 5.4 million lives from severe drought in Somalia.

“Working together with the Somali authorities and with historical levels of support from the international community, I am proud that we averted a possible famine last year,” de Clercq said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He said the lasting solutions to drought, conflict and displacement remain, however, out of reach, and much more must be done to eliminate the looming threat of famine in this country.

“We must tackle the humanitarian needs while simultaneously looking at longer-term solutions. If we do not continue to save lives and in parallel build resilience, then we have only delayed a famine, not prevented one,” he warned.

The UN said 2017 was one of the most challenging years for Somalia, with the country precariously close to famine after several failed rainy seasons. 

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is an extension of the 2017 famine prevention efforts.

It prioritizes immediate relief operations in areas with significant numbers of people living in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4).

The HRP now also includes a strategy to address protection gaps, particularly during humanitarian crises and for those most vulnerable, such as the internally displaced, women and children.

According to the UN, food security needs have nearly doubled the five-year average, with an estimated 2,444,000 people in crisis and 866,000 in emergency—that is, one step away from famine—throughout Somalia.

The number of Somalis on the brink of famine has grown tenfold since this time last year. An estimated 1.2 million children are projected to be malnourished in 2018, 232,000 of whom will face life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.

De Clercq said with important progress made on the political and governance fronts, Somalia is on a positive trajectory, despite ongoing crises.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

UN agencies appeal for 864 mln USD to reach 3.9 mln Somalis

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- UN agencies working in Somalia on Wednesday launched humanitarian appeal, seeking 864 million U.S. dollars to reach 3.9 million people with urgent life-saving assistance.

Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia who launched the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2017 in Mogadishu, called on the international community to scaled up humanitarian response through timely support to help 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,” de Clercq said.

The 2017 plan which is part of a three-year strategy (2016-2018) recognizes that the drivers of risk and vulnerability in Somalia are largely cyclical and long-running, and cannot be resolved in a single year.

The newly developed Plan for Somalia reflects a commitment by aid agencies to better support Somalis in addressing the extensive humanitarian needs throughout the country.

An estimated five million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and the UN says food security needs nearly double the five-year average, with an estimated 3.9 million people in need of urgent life-saving assistance.

According to the UN, about 320,000 children under the age of five 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.

The launch of the appeal comes amid a worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia as expanding drought conditions have left hundreds of thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages.

De Clercq said 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,” he added.

The UN said protection violations remain at the center of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and widespread human rights violations, instability and insecurity drive displacement and weaken the resilience of the most vulnerable.

The UN said 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 women’s life.

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Somali PM urges international community to help in stabilization process

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Monday appealed to the international partners to support his government to steer the country’s security sector reform process.

Khaire, who co-chaired the government’s security sector reforms cluster meeting in Mogadishu said the Horn of African nation still needs the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) to stabilize the country.

“We still need AMISOM and we don’t want to see their work going back,” the PM told the key stakeholders in the security reform process including representatives from the United Nations and the European Union.

The pan African body’s mission has promised to continue supporting the transition through the priority tasks including securing main supply routes, securing key population centers, to mentor and assist Somali security forces, both military and police, in close collaboration with UN Mission in Somalia and in line with the National Security Architecture.

AMISOM has also committed to further degrading Al-Shabaab and implementing the transition process by continuing joint AMISOM-Somalia National Army efforts in executing these tasks.

During the meeting, Khaire highlighted the strong cooperation between the federal government and federal member states in the delivery of the National Security Architecture.

The country’s National Security Architecture plan is central to achieving sustainable security reform and a transition of primary responsibility of security from AMISOM to Somali security forces.

Deputy Head of AMISOM Simon Mulongo emphasized the need for a well-planned and articulated transition in order to avoid setbacks.

“This transition should be one which goes hand in hand with stabilization, mediation and reconciliation efforts and delivery of basic social services,” Mulongo said.

The Monday meeting was a follow-up to the High-Level Security Conference held in Mogadishu in December last year in which a conditions-based transfer of security responsibilities from AMISOM to Somali forces was discussed.

             

 

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