Mogadishu, 30 January 2018
I was last here in Somalia in January and May last year - just before taking the position as Emergency Relief Coordinator - when this country was one of the four countries in the world threatened by famine. There has only been one famine in the world in the last twenty years, here in Somalia, which took the lives of a quarter of a million people in 2011.
(New York, 21 April 2015) Yesterday's horrific attack on UNICEF staff in Somalia is a reminder of the dangers faced by many humanitarian aid workers on a daily basis. Aid workers are increasingly targets, with serious consequences for our ability to reach people who urgently need help. Attacks on humanitarian workers can constitute a war crime and are in total violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.
Those who perpetrate these attacks must be held accountable.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to brief the Council on the humanitarian situation in Somalia.
Since the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012, optimism over the expected progress in state and peace building and political and security improvements have not translated into an improvement of the humanitarian situation.
(New York, 3 February 2012) I welcome the news that famine conditions are no longer present in Somalia, according to analysis today released by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and Famine Early Warning System.
I am very concerned however, that the situation remains critical for at least 2.34 million people in Somalia. In southern parts of the country, 1.7 million people need food, clean water, shelter and other assistance just to survive. Mortality rates remain among the highest in the world.
I am extremely concerned by Al-Shabaab’s seizure of property and equipment belonging to several non-governmental organizations and UN agencies working to alleviate suffering in southern Somalia.
Humanitarian relief efforts have saved thousands of lives since the declaration of famine in July, but the situation in central and southern Somalia remains critical. Four million people are still in crisis, and 250,000 face famine.
It is welcome news that scaled up humanitarian assistance has had an impact in Somalia and that areas of Bay, Bakool and Lower Shabelle are no longer in famine, as reported today by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and Famine Early Warning System. However, the situation remains critical for millions of people, as these areas continue to face a severe humanitarian emergency. The progress is fragile and needs to be sustained.
It was with great concern that I learned of the abduction last Friday of a relief worker with Terra Nuova while on a humanitarian mission in the Lower Juba Region of southern Somalia. This incident is particularly regrettable considering that Terra Nuova is the only international NGO with a permanent presence in this part of Somalia.