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13 May 2014

Humanitarian agencies demand urgent action as conflict and drought conditions theaten to leave nearly 3 million hungry.


2 December 2013

The situation in Somalia has improved, and while it is still early, already some are making the decision to venture back. (..) But the fact remains that half a million refugees are currently living in the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya, and they continue to require the same things they needed two years ago: shelter, food, water and safety. (..) Facing a shortage of funding, on November 1, WFP was forced to reduce food rations for refugees in Kenya by 20 percent. If these cuts must be long-lasting or expanded, it could slow or even reverse the refugees' recovery, and endanger their health all over again.


20 November 2013

The World Food Programme sent 340 tonnes of food, enough for 4,000 households for a month, while Puntland's government sent 32 trucks of supplies, the UN said on Monday.The local government in the semi-autonomous region said as many as 300 people were feared dead, while the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed 80 deaths so far.


24 September 2013

While praising the people and Government of Somalia, along with their international partners, for being “on the brink of achieving truly great things,” the top United Nations Envoy in the country warned the Security Council that overall success is not guaranteed and that “in no sense at all is the Somalia 'crisis' over.

“Where we stand is […] precarious. We cannot afford to lessen our focus or investment – despite the many competing claims for our attention in the rest of the world,” said Nicholas Kay, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, as he briefed the Council on the Secretary-General's latest report on the situation in the country.

Before going into some detail on political and security issues he began by answering the question he said that all the Secretary-general's Special Representatives probably hear most: “Are you optimistic?”

“The answer in my case is a resounding “yes,” he said, adding that behind the “twists and turns, the crises and the standoffs”, Somalia has the foundations for progress: the international community is united behind a credible, legitimate federal Government.

“There are resources available to meet the most immediate needs; there is the political will to compromise and manage disputes without resorting to violence. And the Somali people I have met are tired of war and deprivation, fed up with brinkmanship and predatory politics,” said Mr. Kay.


20 September 2013

After more than two decaded of civil war, Somalia’s capital is enjoying a sense of relative calm. But Mogadishu is still struggling to recover from the fighting. Compounding the challenge are tens of thousands of people who have fled south-central Somalia to live in squalid camps in the city. They face insecurity, lack of clean water and sanitation and inadequate food. 


20 September 2013

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Donors have pledged 1.8bn euros ($2.4bn; £1.5bn) at a conference in Brussels to help Somalia end more than two decades of conflict.

The money is part of a "New Deal" for what is widely regarded as a failed state, officials said

The EU and Somali government believe now is a good time to adopt the programme as the country has entered a new era, with a more legitimate government and progress on the security front.

 

The New Deal focuses on peace and state-building. 


20 September 2013

The number of people in crisis in Somalia is at its lowest since famine was declared in Somalia in 2011, thanks to successive seasons of average to above average rainfall, low food prices and sustained humanitarian response but acute malnutrition continues to pose a threat to hundreds of thousands of children especially in the country’s south, latest findings indicate.

A joint report by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) indicates an estimated 870,000 people will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and Phase 4) from August to December 2013. The situation has significantly improved since 2011 when 4 million Somalis were in extreme food security crisis. The recent figures also represent a continued improvement since January when an estimated 1,050,000 people were in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4). Improvements are attributed to a near average July/August 2013 Gu harvest, increased livestock prices, increased livestock herd sizes, improved milk availability, low prices of both local and imported staple food commodities, higher purchasing power from income from labor and livestock sales, and sustained humanitarian interventions over the last six months.

However, nearly 2.3 million additional people beyond those requiring more urgent assistance, one-third of Somalia’s population, are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2); their food security remains fragile. This group of households may struggle to meet their own minimal food requirement through the end of the year, and they remain highly vulnerable to major shocks that could push them back to food security crisis.


20 September 2013

With a federal government shakily holding on to power in Mogadishu and violence significantly reduced, Somalia and the EU co-host a conference of international donors in Brussels today, intended to chart a new course to peace and prosperity.

But on 30 September, those hopeful prospects will be thrown into jeopardy when Barclays closes the accounts of 250 Somali money transfer services, including Dahabshiil, which is much the biggest of the lot.
 

Barclays initially announced, in a letter to Dahabshiil and others dated 8 May, that the accounts would be closed on 30 July. It wrote: “Acceptance and eligibility criteria have been amended for customers in this sector,  which unfortunately means we will no longer be able to provide banking services to businesses that fall outside of these.”

 

For the international aid community, the severing of the remittance pipeline threatens to spark a new Somali emergency. And the effect on the agencies is even more direct than that, because in the absence of banks, they depend on the MTOs to funnel aid money to their Somali projects. The vast majority of them, including Oxfam, Care International and World Vision, use Dahabshiil, as does the United Nations.


11 February 2013

The World Food Program (WFP) reports it plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia this year, including more than one million people who are in a state of crisis. (..) Though the number of those in need has dropped by more than half, WFP says the situation remains critical, especially in the south. It is for this reason that WFP says it is particularly happy to be able to work again in the port city of Kismayo. (..) WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs said a rapid food security and nutrition assessment carried out in Kismayo shows the severity of the situation there.