Growing humanitarian crisis in Somalia

For decades, Somalia has been riven by factional fighting and the recent spread of religious fanaticism in the guise of Al-Shabaab has only added to the beleaguered country’s woes.

In 2012, new Somali national institutions emerged as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government.

In 2013 the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia was established by the UN Security Council. It is mandated to support the Federal Government of Somalia with its peace and state building agenda and to strengthen Somalia’s security sector, promote respect for human rights and women’s empowerment and assist in the coordination of international assistance.

“The humanitarian operation in Somalia requires urgent scale-up,” the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini,said in a press statement. “We are in a race against time to save lives in areas stricken by drought and conflict.”

The humanitarian coordinator noted that aid workers could reach affected areas despite the numerous challenges and persisting insecurity but urged the international community to drastically ramp up its financial assistance for the country.

“Despite competing crises in the world today, not responding to the humanitarian situation in Somalia is not an option,” Mr. Lazzarini continued. “Critical funding is needed today to expand operations. Funding pipelines for food security, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene services must be increased without delay.”

[UN News Centre]

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