Although known as a country riddled with insurgency, drought and political instability, Somalia, the “Horn of Africa,” is steadily improving. In November, in a session of the United Nations Security Council on Somalia, the U.N.’s top diplomat in the region, Nicholas Kay, expressed positivity about the state’s transformation.
Humanitarian aid has been instrumental in the country’s upward trajectory. The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Somalia, outlined in 2015, seeks $885 million to reach 3.5 million people.
In addition to decreasing extreme vulnerabilities and outstanding crises, the Federal Government and the international community, has set a goal to decrease the number of people who are unable to meet minimum food requirements from eight percent down to five percent of the total population.
The same study has reported that 308,000 children under age five were acutely malnourished and 56,000 children severely malnourished, with an overall burden of 800,000 malnutrition cases.
In addition to malnourishment, the region also remains vulnerable to extreme environmental fluctuation. The U.N. estimates that as a result of the 2015 drought in the region, over 4.7 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.
The good news, however, is that international organizations like the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Committee are responding to the need by expanding humanitarian aid to Somalia.
The organizations are providing food assistance, health initiatives and clean water and sanitation improvements. As of April 15, nearly 60,000 people affected by the drought have received food provided by aid organizations, according to a press release made by the ICRC.
In response to the weather severity and its aftermath, Jordi Raich Curcó, the head of ICRC’s Somalia delegation, said, “Unfortunately, this isn’t new or unique; the drought is only the latest example of such cyclical phenomena. We hope our intervention can help some of the affected communities see the drought through.”
In partnership with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations, international players continue working towards peaceful governance and military control within the country.
This support focuses on border control safety, the integrity of refugees and those deported from surrounding regions and human rights violations as a result of local militants.
In making positive steps towards improving the quality of life for the Somali people, regional and international actors remain hopeful that future goals will be met for the betterment of the country.
– Nora Harless