Humanitarian agencies on Thursday called for early funding and support to help sustain aid operation in Somalia in 2019.

According to a report titled 2019 Somalia Humanitarian Needs Overview released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the humanitarian situation in Somalia has continued to improve due to good Gu rains and sustained humanitarian response.

However, the report said these gains are fragile and threatened by the poor performance of the current Deyr rain season, hence calling for early funding and support to sustain the aid operation in 2019.

Peter de Clercq, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said in a separate statement Thursday that continued conflict and climatic shocks such as the underperforming Deyr season in 2018 threaten to reverse the gains made thus far.

“Collective international support will be required to sustain aid operations in 2019,” the UN official said.

He said even with the improvements in food security, the humanitarian community cannot afford to be complacent, noting that humanitarian needs remain above the pre-crisis level from two years ago.

According to the UN, more than 4.2 million people in Somalia – one third of the population – will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2019.

“Over 1.5 million people, mainly IDPs (internally displaced persons) and rural populations, face acute levels of food insecurity and require immediate assistance for their survival,”

the UN official said.

He said malnutrition rates across the country have remained persistently high with nearly one million children expected to be acutely malnourished, including 173,600 expected to be severely malnourished.

Hamza Said Hamza, Somali minister for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, called on aid agencies to continue to prioritize life-saving assistance, in complementarity with development, recovery and resilience initiatives to address the underlying causes of recurring crises.

“The government is committed to continuing working with all partners to strengthen its capacity and to gradually take over full responsibility for the delivery of basic social services and to better address the underlying causes of humanitarian needs,”

Hamza said. Enditem


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