Somaliland: Government Accuse Donors of Drought Blindness and Appeal Deafness

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Dr Saad A Shire says drought relief needed urgently“We thank the president and people of Djibouti for their kind assistance with an assortment of Drought relief” -Planning Minister

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Prevalent drought conditions in some parts of the country have been termed as severe.

This was said by the minister of planning and coordination Dr Saad Ali Shire during an interview with the Hornnewspaper in Hargeisa where he also decried the reluctance of International donor organizations to assist as well as divulged on the outcome of his meeting with UN in Nairobi.

The minister who informed that residents from some parts of Salal, Awdal and Sahil regions are adversely affected by prolonged droughts wondered why the multitude of humanitarian, development and UN agencies operating in the country have turned a blind eye to these sufferings despite several appeals.

Said he, “Since president Silanyo’s drought relief appeal of the 24th June 2012 not a single international organization or UN agency has responded in any way”

The planning minister who acknowledges that the said agencies for their continued implementation of planned programs urged them to open their eyes to the suffering of the many rural Somalilanders afflicted by drought and assist in any way possible.

According to Dr Saad Ali Shire, apart from the UN World Food Program-WFP which made an initial commitment of 720 tons of foodstuffs to be delivered in September on the Republic of Djibouti has contributed any substantial drought relief through two consignments made available by President Ismail Omar Gelle.

“We thank the president and people of Djibouti for their kind assistance with an assortment of Drought relief”

On the meeting with UN bodies in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi last week, where he once again tabled president Silanyo’s drought relief appeal, the planning minister informed that the agencies acquiesced to being aware of the precarious situation in some parts of the country following reports from their field offices in Hargeisa.

“The UN asked us to submit a proposal thus action on drought alleviation” said Dr Saad A Shire who revealed that his ministry in conjunction with other stakeholders are in earnest preparation of an inclusive proposal that will not only be shared with the UN alone but with a multitude of other international donor organizations.

On the other hand and According to a Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia 2012 Report, Famine conditions are no longer present in Somalia, largely due to the on-going delivery of aid under extremely difficult conditions and the exceptional harvest at the beginning of the year. The humanitarian situation, however, is still critical. Over 2.51 million people remain in crisis, unable to fully meet their basic needs without assistance. Among the 1.5 million Somalis who are no longer in crisis, almost 1.29 million are in a stressed food security situation (“Phase Two” of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification). They will risk sliding back into crisis without sustained assistance. Mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia have improved dramatically, but remain among the highest in the world. An estimated 323,000 children are acutely malnourished, representing 22% of all under-five children.

Even as this report was being prepared in June 2012, the latest data on the April-to-June GU rains showed that the humanitarian situation will likely deteriorate further before recovery is possible. In most parts of southern Somalia and part of central Somalia, the rains underperformed: they began late and were poorly distributed over both time and space. GU crop harvests in southern and central agro pastoral and inland rain-fed cropping areas consequently are expected to be below average and delayed until August. As a result, the number of people in need will likely increase during the second half of the year.

The mid-year review undertaken by the Humanitarian Country Team for Somalia in May and June highlights that they must build on the gains made since famine was declared in July 2011 or they could be reversed as well as To prevent future shocks from developing into humanitarian catastrophes, we are asking donors to support our strategy to provide life-saving assistance to millions of Somalis and build sustainable livelihoods.

Surprisingly and owing to the fixation with the on the death throes TFG, the lengthily report does not contain even a single sentence that mentions Somaliland.

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