4 November – Source: UNSOM – 552 Words
The United Nations has joined the national efforts to provide immediate assistance to tens of thousands of people affected by floods that have devastated parts of Somalia, especially Belet Weyne district in Hirshabelle State. The World Food Programme (WFP), the food-assistance branch of the United Nations, and other partners facilitated by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have scaled up humanitarian response, providing food to address the short-term nutrition needs of flood-affected families, as well as potable water, sanitation, shelter and health assistance. The director of WFP in Somalia, Caesar Arroyo, said that the agency was working closely with Somali Government authorities to deliver relief items to affected families. The agency had delivered by road and airlifted over 260 metric tons of critical relief supplies, including high-energy biscuits. “This is food that doesn’t need preparation and can support children, mothers, and everybody else who will need immediate response,” noted Arroyo.
Arroyo added that WFP would continue delivering food to support about 4 000 households, or about 24 000 beneficiaries. “In the meantime, we are bringing more commodities as a roller food basket, to be able to support up to two months, the area of Belet Weyne and surrounding locations, which are flooded and impacted by the latest climate change situation,” said Arroyo. Heavy seasonal rains triggered floods along the Juba and Shabelle rivers in Hirshabelle, Jubaland and South West states. Flash flooding was also reported in Benadir region, Jowhar in Hirshabelle, and Ceel Jaale and Jamame in Jubaland.
In Belet Weyne district alone, over 270 000 people have been affected, and casualties have been reported. Farmland and infrastructure have been destroyed and livelihoods disrupted in some of the worst-hit areas. Halimo Osman Abdi fled Koshin village when the rains flooded her home. All her belongings have gone, and she barely escaped together with her family to seek shelter in Ceel Jaale. She learned about the food distribution organised on one of the rare land patches not engulfed by the waters. “I have received assistance, and now I have flour and rice. I have my rations here, and am very thankful to Allah,” said Halimo, carrying her ration bags. Hodan Amin has also to rely on the food distributed by the agencies. She left her home village of Hawo, in Dhagah Jibis, and now is among the displaced people presently sheltered in Ceel Jaale. “Our homes are submerged now, and we can only access the area by boat,” explained Hodan after receiving her ration.
During a visit to Belet Weyne on Saturday, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ expressed his concerns regarding the scale of the floods devastation, and the effort needed to recover. “We know that last year’s floods were the worst on record. But this year, the floods may eclipse what we experienced last year,” the President noted. Reacting to UN agencies’ timely intervention, Sheikh Hussein Osman, the Deputy Governor of Hiran region, hailed the ‘life-saving assistance’ to flood victims. “The WFP has informed us that food distribution would continue as they endeavor to reach all affected villages,” he said. OCHA Somalia, which is supporting the flood response task force comprising local authorities and humanitarian partners, reports that the medium- and long-term needs of the affected communities cannot be met by available resources, and further assistance is urgently needed.
4 November – Source: Hiiraan Online – 235 Words
Somalia will reach the key debt relief threshold in February 2020, Finance Minister, Abdirahman Beileh has said noting the government was putting in place measures to ensure the country meets the conditions set by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Speaking during a joint media conference with World Bank Africa Region Vice President, Hafez Ghanem, Beileh said Somalia was committed to meeting the conditions including instituting reforms across public sectors. “As my Prime Minister has said, we can only hear the second month of next year, February; we cannot hear anything else as he put it very rightly but he said we can make an exception and January will be ok as the date for us to relieve the debt, the decision point,” said Beileh. Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan are eligible for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) but have not started the process. Once a country reaches its decision point, it may immediately begin receiving interim relief on its debt service falling due. Speaking during the same event, Ghanem expressed confidence in Somalia’s reform process noting the World Bank was committed to supporting Somalia. “I commend the government and the people of Somalia for making progress on improving the security and economic situation in the country,” said Ghanem. “The World Bank Group will continue to be a steadfast partner, to help ensure that reform efforts yield positive and tangible results for all Somalis.”
4 November – Source: Halbeeg – 130 Words
Somali Police Force has appointed a new commander for Guriel station on Monday. Zakarye Abdi Ali will lead the new team at Guriel police station to restore law and order. His appointment comes two days after Somali National Army regained control of the town in Galgadud from the Ahlu Sunna Waljama (AASWJ) forces. The ASWJ forces who controlled the town for years retreated after a brief clash with the troops. Similar deployment of the federal police force is also scheduled in Mataban in Hiran region. Security agencies held a meeting with local community leaders in the area to foster peace and security to maintain law and order. The Somali government has deployed security agencies in various parts in south-central Somalia that were recaptured from the armed group Al-Shabaab in recent months.
4 November – Source: Jowhar.com – 169 Words
Galmudug Chief Minister and top Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jama’a leader, Sheikh Mohamed Shakir, commented on the security developments in parts of Galgadud region, mainly Dhusamareb and other ASWJ strongholds. Mr Shakir said his group is not ready to engage in any form of confrontation in the region, and expressed concern over the latest developments in the region sparked by the military’s movements and positions rearrangements. “The fresh tensions in parts of the region came as a surprise to us, and we are alarmed by the government’s unexpected moves in the region. However, we don’t want to fire a bullet, we don’t want to lose a single person in fresh violence. Our society and region is not willing new conflict,” stressed Sheikh Shakir. He downplayed the military’s takeover of key installations in the region, and said it was unfortunate to wish the dislodging of ASWJ from the region whom he said are the liberators of the society from the grip of Al-Shabaab.
4 November – Source: The Peninsula – 965 Words
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said that the State of Qatar will continue to be a key supporter of Somalia and will spare no effort in providing the necessary assistance for development plans and programmes of the government of Somalia in partnership with the United Nations and the World Bank. “The State of Qatar has recently provided a $25m aid to the Somali government as a contribution to the debt reduction of Somalia at the World Bank and that it supports the development of security capabilities, economic empowerment programmes, creation of jobs for young people, the Trust Fund for Peace and Reconciliation and the implementation of development projects,” said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs..
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said this in his opening speech while chairing the Ministerial Meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Somalia which was held yesterday for mobilising more international support to establish security and promote development in Somalia. The meeting was attended by a number of foreign ministers and other top officials of the OIC countries including the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Ahmed Isse Awad, among others. The Deputy Prime Minister said that the meeting was being held in the context of the keen attention that Qatar attached to Somalia as part of its role as Chair of the OIC Contact Group and to provide various forms of support to Somalia.
The Deputy Prime Minister also extended thanks to the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for preparing a report on the situation in Somalia, which was presented to the meeting. He urged continued efforts to complete the pillars of democracy in Somalia to realize the 2016 vision and holding the general elections scheduled for 2020-2021 and establishing and consolidating the principles of transparency, social justice and respect for human rights and the rule of law. “There are many serious challenges still facing Somalia, and we should provide all aspects of support for facing these challenges. Perhaps, the most prominent of these challenges is terrorism and violent extremism. Despite the gradual progress in facing the control of the militant groups, terrorist attacks still continue,” he said……
4 November – Source: Trend News Agency – 197 Words
Azerbaijan is ready to continue its support to those in need in Somalia and other countries of the region, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Contact Group on Somalia in Doha, Trend reports. The minister said that it is necessary to increase efforts to find long-term solutions for refugees and internally displaced people in Somalia. “We are gravely concerned that the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in Somalia,” Mammadyarov noted. “Climate change is leading to frequent droughts in Somalia- forcing people to leave their homes almost every two years. Azerbaijan responded to the appeals of the respective governments and international organizations to provide urgent aid aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia – the worst-affected country in the region.” Azerbaijan’s ADA University also provides fully covered scholarship education for young Somali professionals in the fields important for strengthening state-building, the Azerbaijani minister said. “It is important that the international community continues supporting Somalia,” Mammadyarov added. “At the same time, all parties must allow unimpeded humanitarian access and refrain from actions which threaten the safety of the local population and those assisting them.”
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
2 November – Source: Radio Ergo – 481 Words
Ahmed Abdullahi Adan, 48, lives in a remote area called Birta-Dher, which lies almost halfway between Afmadow and Kismayo, in southern Somalia’s Lower Juba region. He had been struggling to get treatment and medicine for his sick livestock for the whole of September. He decided to contact Radio Ergo via the toll-free number on 19 October 2019. Radio Ergo referred Ahmed’s call to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Livestock sector coordinator, who ensured through FAO’s local partnerships that a veterinary team was dispatched to Ahmed’s area to attend to his sick animals. Ahmed spoke afterwards to Radio Ergo’s Mohamed Hassan and confirmed that his livestock had been treated for different livestock diseases. Mohamed Hassan asked him if he was happy about the response to his call.
Mohamed: After recording your message for Radio Ergo, were you expecting to get a response which would help you to get treatment for your livestock?
Ahmed: No, I was not but then later on we were very excited. All the people in the area were very happy after receiving the treatment.
Mohamed: What made you call Radio Ergo?
Ahmed: It was the challenges we were facing at that moment. Radio Ergo made it easy for us to call that number [toll free].
Mohamed: What message did you pass?
Ahmed: My message was about the problems we were having with the livestock disease.
Mohamed: What was in your mind when you were sending that message?
Ahmed: We thank almighty God, we were expecting no help really but by sending the message, we had a belief that some people would come to our aid when they heard our message and complaints. We had no veterinary medicine for our livestock. Now the livestock have been treated, not only in our area but even the livestock of those people in nearby areas were also treated.
Mohamed: So, your message has helped the whole area?
Ahmed: Yes, it has helped all the areas! May God bless all those who facilitated this, those who brought the veterinary teams and even Radio Ergo.
Mohamed: What kind of diseases affected the animals?
Ahmed: The animals had diarrhoea, the goats were suffering from diarrhoea, and they had scabs and pustules around the mouth and fever.
After I called, some veterinary teams called me back and came to my area. They checked the animals and treated them. Our animals recovered and are now healthy.
Mohamed: How many animals were treated for you?
Ahmed: All my livestock were treated. Even the goat kids and calves were treated.
Mohamed: How many animals do you have in your herd?
Ahmed: I have 80 goats and 60 cattle
Mohamed: Were the animals treated for scabby mouth?
Ahmed: Yes, they were treated, before they were unable to graze, now they can graze. We thank God, we are in prosperous times now, it has rained and there is plenty of pasture.