The Humanitarian Forum
Saturday, May 04, 2013
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
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
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.