UN Calls for Sustained Aid and Livelihood Support in Somalia

Published On: Sunday, May, 13 2012 - 15:07:57 This post has been viewed 1688 times

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A senior United Nations relief official today urged the international community to build on the effective delivery of aid that helped roll back last year’s famine in Somalia, noting that about 2.5 million people in the Horn of Africa country remain in need of humanitarian support.

Speaking at the end of a five-day visit to Somalia and Kenya, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Catherine Bragg said famine conditions are no longer present in Somalia, largely due to the effective delivery of aid and the good harvest at the beginning of the year, but the humanitarian situation remains critical.

“We must build on the fragile gains. The number of people who need food aid decreased by 1.5 million, but 2.5 million people are still in crisis and that is a very large number,” said Ms. Bragg, who is also the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

He said focus should now be on helping people regain their livelihoods, which is crucial to building resilience to future droughts and other shocks.

“The local and international aid workers collaborating in Somalia have proven they can make a difference,” she noted. “We are strengthening coordination with key actors, including Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is vital to ensure that all of our resources are used efficiently for the benefit of the Somali people,” she added.

Last year’s drought made some 3.8 million Kenyans dependent on food aid and an estimated 2.2 million people remain in need of assistance, including 250,000 who are in humanitarian crisis.

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