Speech of H.E. Mahdi Moahmed Guled (Khadar),
Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia
At the ceremony of the
Launch of the National Humanitarian Coordination Center
Mogadishu, 19 April 2017
Good morning Ministers, Ambassadors, Deputy SRSG, Head of Agencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen all protocols observed.
Let me begin to extend my appreciation to Minister Maryan Qasim, her team and the UN colleagues who organized this important meeting.
It is an honor for me to address the launching for the National Humanitarian Coordination Center. This center comes a time when millions of Somalis are suffering from a severe drought affecting millions across the country.
As a government, we have responded to this huge crisis to the best of our ability and immediately engaged with the existing National Drought Committee that had in place the necessary strategy and mechanism to help alleviate the plight of the distressed population at their localities.
As you are all aware, Somalia is prone to recurrent drought with documented irregular poor pattern of rainy seasons since 2014 as being the driver of the current drought. According to the National Drought Committee over 6.8 million people across Somalia have been directly affected by the drought with nearly 1.8 million people in dire need of immediate emergency relief, but the number could top up to over 2.5 million people if we don’t respond urgently.
As a result of the push-pull factors associated with similar crisis, we are witnessing a massive increase in IDP numbers into urban areas already strained with earlier displacement compounded with the lack of adequate resources to deal with such enormous influx. This demands more coherent and immediate effort to deal with the aftermath with the urgency it demands.
The Federal Government is extremely concerned about the impact of the crisis; particularly in areas that are experiencing water shortages and don’t have even the facilities to store water. Of specific concern are the reports we received from affected communities who are located close to the dried up river where all the nearby boreholes have dried up as well. In many parts of the country, caravans of destitute families have moved out of their localities to seek food and water in other areas by foot having lost their entire livestock and in some case vulnerable family members on the long trek.
In view of these, the Federal Government has declared a Draught National Disaster in February and created a dedicated ministry of humanitarian affairs and Disaster Management. We are committed to respond to the immediate need of the affected communities as well as finding a durable solution that will enhance our preparedness and coping mechanism to deal with future crisis.
With this strategic policy in mind, we call upon all our partners and UN agencies to fully engage with us in the making of systems that could better help us manage disasters and minimize the impact of such recurrent drought in Somalia.
Furthermore, we ask all our partners to upscale their livelihood funding and expand their programs to the most affected communities.
I thank you all for your continues support and commitment to assist Somali people.
I wish you all very open, frank and productive meeting.
Thank you all!