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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African Union Mission planning to continue
with its stabilization efforts across Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Sunday vowed to continue with stabilization and early recovery efforts in Somalia to help provide quick impact projects and basic infrastructure in various communities.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia and head of AMISOM, said AMISOM undertook 47 quick impact projects in 2018 in the Horn of Africa nation.

"They included rehabilitating existing community infrastructure such as schools, water points, access roads, and health centers.
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We also created opportunities for self-employment among youth, women and child-headed households," Madeira said in Mogadishu after holding talks with speaker of the Somali parliament Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman.

According to the statement from the AU mission, Madeira and Abdirahman also discussed issues including AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) joint operations.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

United Kingdom opens Baidoa Training Centre

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United Kingdom (UK) has officially opened a training facility in southwestern Somalia as part of efforts to stabilize the Horn of African nation.

Its embassy in Mogadishu said Sunday that the Baidoa-based military facility which was opened on Saturday will be used by the Somali National Army (SNA).

  Francisco Madeira and President Ahmed Islam Madobe of Jubaland State  | Coastweek

KISMAYO Somalia (Xinhua) -- Francisco Madeira [right], Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and Ahmed Islam Madobe, President of Jubaland State address a press conference in Kismayo, Somalia. The two leaders discussed the upcoming elections in the state and planned operations to secure the main supply routes in the region.  XINHUA PHOTO - CHARLES ONYANGO
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It said in a statement issued in Mogadishu that the Baidoa Security Training Centre will train up to 120 SNA soldiers at one time and will help the SNA improve the quality of its training.

"The new center will help develop Somali-led security forces and promote long-term stability and security in the country," the embassy said.

Ben Fender, British Ambassador to Somalia, said the training of the Somali soldiers will be instrumental in bolstering security in the country and the region as a whole.

"We are playing a central part in helping the SNA conduct current operations in Lower Shabelle including through giving practical help to the newly recovered areas - like new housing for Sabid community," Fender said.

The opening of the training facility came as the Horn of Africa nation has been fighting al-Qaida allied terrorist group al-Shabab.
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African Union Mission works to secure main supply
routes and population centers all over Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Tuesday its troops are in the process of securing population centers and main supply routes to prevent al-Shabab militants from targeting the local population.

Tigabu Yilma Wondimhunegn, AMISOM force commander, said in a statement that protection of population centers and main supply routes are some of AMISOM’s key priorities as it continues to implement the Somali transition plan.

The AU official was speaking in Mogadishu while awarding medals to AMISOM staff officers for their contribution to the restoration of peace and security in Somalia.

Wondimhunegn lauded the 58 military officers for their commitment and service to Somalia.
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United Nations allocate U.S. $45 million dollars
to stave off famine risks in Horn of Africa

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian chief has allocated 45 million U.S. dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya facing food shortages due to low rainfall and drought, a UN spokesman said Thursday.

Spokesman for UN secretary-general Farhan Haq said the bulk of the funds - 30 million dollars - will go to Somalia, where 2.2 million people may face acute food insecurity by September, marking a 40 percent jump from January.
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Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock made the allocation "to immediately scale up food and nutrition assistance, safe water provision, livelihoods protection, and other urgent humanitarian support" in the three Horn of African countries, said CERF on its website.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike.

In Somalia, the failed April to June rainy season follows below-average performance of the short rains, which fall between October and December.

"Communities that were already vulnerable due to past droughts are again facing severe hunger and water scarcity and are at risk from deadly communicable diseases.

"Aid agencies in Somalia are also overstretched and grappling with a severe lack of funding," said Lowcock.

  Patrick Njoroge, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor | Coastweek

MOGADISHU Somalia -- United Nations and AMISOM personnel mourn eath of Christine Alalo, Acting AMISOM Police Commissioner. The event took place at AMISOM Mission Head quarters in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 14 March 2019. Christine Alalo passed away on 10 March 2019, aged 49. AMISOM PHOTO
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On May 20, aid agencies launched a drought response plan seeking 710 million dollars to urgently help 4.5 million people. Somalia’s overall Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019, requiring 1.08 billion dollars, is only 22 percent funded.

The Somalia Humanitarian Fund is currently depleted.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s region neighboring Somalia is experiencing a second consecutive drought season while still reeling from the effects of the prolonged drought in 2016 and 2017.

Announcing CERF’s contribution of 10 million dollars to Ethiopia, Lowcock urged donors to increase their support for drought response, in addition to critical assistance to the ongoing nationwide response to internal displacement.

In Kenya, CERF’s allocation of 5 million dollars will complement the government’s hunger safety net program.

Parts of the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya are hard hit by drought following a delayed start to the March to May rains.

While droughts remain a recurrent weather phenomenon across the Horn of Africa region, Lowcock has been calling for more systematic early action, including the release of funds, based on early warnings, to help mitigate expected humanitarian consequences through a range of activities carried out before the onset of a crisis.
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United Nations calls for global support to help Somalis displaced by drought

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday warned of a growing climate-related displacement in Somalia where more than 2 million people are in need of food aid.

In a statement issued ahead of the World Environment Day on Wednesday, the UNHCR called for urgent additional support to help people affected and displaced by drought in the horn of Africa nation.

"UNHCR is calling for more international action to prevent climate-related disasters, scale up efforts to strengthen resilience and to protect people affected by climate change using all available legal frameworks," it said.

Below average rains during the "Gu" (April-June 2019) and "Deyr" (October-December 2018) rainy seasons have caused worsening drought in many parts of the country.

According to the UN, an estimated 5.4 million people are likely to be food insecure by July, adding that some 2.2 million of these will be in severe conditions needing immediate emergency assistance unless aid is urgently scaled up.

Aid agencies launched a Drought Response Plan on May 20, appealing for 710.5 million U.S. dollars to provide life-saving assistance to 4.5 million people affected by the drought to help avert a humanitarian crisis.

The UNHCR said the drought has also forced more than 49,000 people to flee their homes since the beginning of the year as they search for food, water, aid and work mostly in urban areas.

"People who are already displaced because of conflict and violence are also affected by the drought, at times disproportionally.

More than 7,000 people were displaced last month alone," said the UN agency.

It said three main regions of Somalia - South Central, Puntland and Somaliland - have been affected, despite marginal to average rains and flash flooding in some regions.

"The worst affected areas include the Sanaag, Sool, Awdal, Bari, Nugaal, Mudug, Galgadud, Hiran regions of the country," it said.

The latest drought came just as the country was starting to recover from a drought during 2016 and 2017 that led to the displacement inside Somalia of over 1 million people as many remain in a protracted state of displacement.

UNHCR and humanitarian partners fear that severe climatic conditions combined with armed conflict and protracted displacement could push the country into a far bigger humanitarian emergency.

"Decades of climatic shocks and conflict have left more than 2.6 million people internally displaced," UNHCR said

             

 

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