Press Release: “General Secretary of Organization of Islamic Organization and its partners held an emergency meeting in Mogadishu to confirm commitment to prevent famine in Somalia”

 

The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its humanitarian

partners continue their efforts to address current famine, whose impacts have begun to emerge

in Somalia and the Horn of Africa as a result of the severe drought caused by a few years of

rainfall threatening the lives of millions in the Horn of Africa. Somalia is on the brink of

imminent famine. More than six million people, Almost half the population of Somalia needs

urgent humanitarian assistance. The warning signs of this famine are very clear.

After three years of lack of rainfall, water and agricultural crops have been severely degraded

and drought has affected large areas of grazing land, causing tens of thousands of deaths of

livestock on which the population depends for their survival.

In the light of the need to intensify efforts and work jointly to maximize the contribution of

humanitarian efforts and to promote joint humanitarian action, the OIC, in partnership with the

Humanitarian Forum and the Islamic Charity Forum, and under the auspices of the Somali

federal government and with the support of United Nations bodies and with a large presence of

international agencies held an emergency humanitarian meeting on 11 April 2017 in Mogadishu

under the theme "Renewed commitment to prevent famine in Somalia" to assess the deteriorating

humanitarian situation in Somalia and to work to prevent the looming famine.

The meeting also aimed at strengthening partnerships between humanitarian actors at the

international, regional and local levels with the federal government of Somalia and donors to

mitigate the effects of drought, and improving the efficiency of the coordinated response and

assessing the magnitude of humanitarian needs and steps that could be taken to accelerate the

response immediately and in a coordinated manner.

The OIC chaired the meeting and the opening session was addressed by HE Mariam Kassem,

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of the Somali Federal Government,

Mr. Peter DeGlerk, Coordinator of the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia, and HE

Hisham Yousuf, Assistant Secretary General of the Islamic Organization for Humanitarian

Affairs. Representatives of the World Food Program, FAO, UNICEF and the Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations in Somalia, as well as the Arab

league, States and the Informal Committee of Donors to Somalia had participated in the meeting.

Participants expressed their deep concern over the humanitarian disaster and the size of the

international response to the potential famine in Somalia, which brings to mind the famine

suffered by Somalia in 2011 which caused the death of about 260 thousand people, and warned

of the consequences of the slowdown in humanitarian intervention and the need for immediate

action before it is too late, especially if the current wave of drought is more widespread than that

which occurred in 2011, a large competition for human resources in light of the multiplicity and

depth of humanitarian crises especially in the region , and if there is a lesson learned from what

happened in 2011, it is the importance of time to take procedures before the situation deteriorates

to a famine.

He also called on the international community to redouble its efforts to alleviate the suffering of

those affected by drought and to raise the level of emergency relief so as not to exacerbate the

current humanitarian situation and to avoid famine. The priority should be given to the provision

of water, food and urgent health care.

The participants welcomed the announcement of the establishment of a Ministry of Humanitarian

Affairs and Disaster Management in the new federal government by His Excellency Mr.

Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed Faramajo.

The participants also emphasized the importance of working together to provide urgent

humanitarian assistance to the displaced and the entire affected population, especially those who

are still in rural areas, to stop the displacement movement and save thousands of lives.

The organizations that participated in the meeting expressed their commitment to provide

humanitarian assistance to those affected by the drought and pledged to work together to

coordinate and activate the efforts and commitment to work to prevent famine in Somalia and

alleviate human suffering and save lives.

The participating organizations has also confirmed their commitment to follow programs

combining emergency relief to prevent famine, at the same time, more attention and effort should

be given to finding sustainable solutions that would allow Somalia to cope with the impacts of

climate change and flood and drought cycles and to strengthen their resilience.

The meeting was attended by 150 participants from 85 local, regional and international

humanitarian organizations as well as participants from the guests and the media.

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