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.