Humanitarian Needs in Somalia Remain Immense, UN Official Says During Visit
Monday, July 15, 2013
gradual improvements in the humanitarian situation in
Somalia, the needs remain immense, a senior United Nations
relief official said today, calling for greater investment
to break the cycle of crisis in the Horn of Africa
"I call on the international community to invest
now to build the resilience of Somalis and stop the cycle of
crisis they have endured for far too long," John Ging,
Director of Operations in the Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said at the end of a two-day
visit to the capital, Mogadishu, as well as neighbouring
An estimated 1 million people in Somalia urgently
require humanitarian assistance and a further 1.7 million
need sustained support to avoid falling back into crisis,
OCHA said in a news release.
In addition, one in seven
children in Somalia is malnourished and polio has recently
re-emerged after more than six years without a reported
case. But the Somalia Humanitarian Appeal for 2013 is just
33 per cent funded.
While in Mogadishu, Mr. Ging also paid
tribute to those that lost their lives in last month's
attack on the UN Common Compound -- in which UN humanitarian
and development workers reside and work.
killed were one international staff member, three
contractors and four Somali security guards. Several Somali
civilians were also wounded and killed outside the
"My heart goes out to the families and friends
of those who lost their lives defending UN staff
courageously," he stated after visiting the compound. "Their
heroism and sacrifice will not be forgotten."
While in the
country, Mr. Ging met Somali Government officials, the
leadership of the UN and the African Union Mission in
Somalia (AMISOM), humanitarian partners and the donor
He called on all those with influence to
redouble their efforts to provide a safe working environment
for humanitarians and expressed his deepest respect and
appreciation for the continued dedication of humanitarian
aid workers in Somalia to reach all those in need, despite
"The day after the attack on the UN compound,
humanitarian workers were back out there implementing an
emergency vaccination campaign against polio," said Mr.
Ging. "Their commitment to ending humanitarian suffering in
all areas of Somalia is unwavering."