USG/ERC Valerie Amos on Somalia

News and Press Release
Originally published

New York, 22 October 2014

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Somalia today, noting that it has significantly deteriorated since June.

Over three million people need humanitarian assistance and livelihood support in Somalia because of drought, continued conflict, increasing food prices, and low funding for humanitarian activities. A third of Somalia’s population - about 1.1 million people - are internally displaced, and an additional one million are living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

“I am extremely concerned that the number of people who are unable to meet their basic food requirements has risen over the past six months from 857,000 to one million,” USG Amos told Security Council members. “If severely malnourished children don’t get the medical treatment and therapeutic food they urgently need, they are likely to die.”

Ms. Amos noted that the UN and partners continue to do all they can to reach people in need. Since the beginning of this year, for example, over 1.4 million people have received food and support to family livelihoods. About 230,000 malnourished children under five received nutrition support and around 500,000 people were provided with health services. Polio vaccination campaigns have reached over 4 million people since last year.

USG Amos told the Security Council that she remains very concerned about the impact of insecurity, access difficulties and limited funding on the humanitarian response. Attacks and threats against aid organizations have doubled in 2014 compared to 2013.

The US$933 million humanitarian appeal for this year is only 34 per cent funded.

“Sustained response and funding for food security, nutrition, health, and water and sanitation is critical to mitigate the worsening situation and save lives,” said Ms. Amos. “Another serious shock could easily tip Somalia back into a devastating emergency. The international community must do everything it possibly can to prevent this.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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