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The Humanitarian Forum and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation: Statement about the Humanitarian Situation in Somalia

The Humanitarian Forum
Saturday, May 04, 2013

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On 25 April, United Nations Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and The Humanitarian Forum organised a strategic roundtable meeting in Mogadishu to discuss the humanitarian situation in Somalia. As recent scientific studies showed a number of 258,000 deaths brought on by the 2011 famine (nearly 50% of which are children), the meeting represented an opportunity for humanitarian actors to improve their collaborative work. 

The one day roundtable meeting was attended by 40 senior representatives from UN agencies, Red Crescent movement, international and national NGOs and the Somali government. Dr Hany El Banna, President of The Humanitarian Forum, chaired the meeting and welcomed the progress and relative stability that Somalia has witnessed over the last eight months. He raised the importance of collaboration between humanitarian actors to jointly address the pressing humanitarian and development challenges that communities face.  Mrs. Wosonru, Deputy Head of UNOCHA in Somalia, gave an overview of the humanitarian situation in the country and indicated that despite progress made to support those who suffered from the 2011 famine, there are more than 2.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.  

Somali Relief and Development Forum presented findings of the consultation it conducted with representatives of more than 90 Somali NGOs in the three regions of Somalia on humanitarian priorities, aid accountability and roles of diaspora. 

From the OIC, Mr. Ahmed Adam highlighted the importance of delivering practical solutions to chronic challenges of humanitarian work in Somalia and welcomed avenues of constructive dialogue between different humanitarian actors leading to increased collaboration between various organisations.  

Mr Sikander Khan, Country Representative of UNICEF, called upon organisations and governments regardless of their backgrounds to work genuinely and collectively on alleviation of human suffering of Somalis.  The UNHCR Country Representative welcomed the relocation of many organisations and UN agencies to Mogadishu closer to Somali communities from their current base in Nairobi.

The participants drafted the following recommendations to governments, multilateral and international institutions meeting in London on 7 May 2013:

1)      Humanitarian principles and imperative should remain the basis for aid delivery to communities in different parts of Somalia.  Some areas remain out of reach due to security concerns when access to all communities in need should be guaranteed. 

2)      Efforts to provide protection and safety to civilians and vulnerable groups should be supported and encouraged. 

3)      Donors should include approaches that embed communities’ resilience into relief and recovery interventions such as livelihoods, farming and infrastructure programmes.

4)      Donors and multilaterals are encouraged to generously invest in building the capacity of Somali government institutions, public service and national NGOs. 

5)      NGOs, governments and donor agencies are collectively asked to strengthen their coordination mechanisms and improve the accountability of their aid programmes.  These frameworks should be based on mutual transparency, inclusion and effectiveness in meeting communities’ needs and priorities. 



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