UN To Seek $1.3 Billion In Aid For Somalia
December 5, 2012 Markacadeey
The United Nations on Tuesday launched a three-year strategy to address ongoing
humanitarian needs in Somalia, with nearly 3.8 million Somalis still in
desperate need of aid after decades of drought, floods and conflict.
The strategy, which includes a $1.3 billion appeal for humanitarian aid next
year, aims to “break the cycle of recurring crises brought on by drought and
conflict,” said UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia, Stefano Porretti, who
added that “by strengthening Somalis’ ability to cope with droughts and floods,
we can prevent future shocks from developing into a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Porretti, who was in Mogadishu to launch the project alongside Somali government
officials, further claimed that improvements in Somalia’s security and political
landscape was presenting new opportunities for change, especially as the country
has finally reached a peaceful end to a nine-year political transition period,
which caused more than 1.1 million people to be internally displaced, while
another one million people were forced to live as refugees.
“The road to resilience will be long and difficult,” Porretti noted. “The new
three-year humanitarian appeal allows for greater continuity in programming and
aims at responding to the existing emergency needs of the population in crisis
in a sustainable manner.”
In September this year, a new administration took office in Somalia,
implementing a new Constitution, a new Parliament and new elected Speaker and
President. According to AFP, a 17,000-strong African Union force, fighting
alongside government troops and Ethiopian soldiers, have also managed to wrestle
control off a string of key towns off the extremist Al-Shabaab group – sparking
a “vast improvement” in Somalia’s security situation.
“The fall of Kismayo, the last stronghold of the extremist Al-Shabaab
insurgents, in late September, marked a decisive turning-point in the conflict,”
said Augustine P. Mahiga, head of the UN Political Office for Somalia, in a
press release. “The challenge now is to align the security and political
strategies in Kismayo as part of the overall stabilization strategy in the
The UN however noted that its appeal for this year fell short of its target,
raising just $668 million instead of the $1.1 billion hoped for.
Nevertheless, Mahiga expressed hope that the UN would continue to review its
future presence in the UN, and meet the needs and expectations of Somalis.
“I urge the international partners to sustain and expand their assistance to
Somalia, to prevent it from sliding back into famine and misery,” Mahiga said.