Somalia’s former “failed state” on fragile path to progress – UN official

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Somalia’s former “failed state” on fragile path to progress – UN official

Somalia has been torn apart by decades of conflict and extreme weather events, but, according to Adam Abdelmoula, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, there are signs of progress amid a host of challenges. Classes.

“I arrived in Somalia in September 2019, twenty years after working here before. I knew I was taking on a tough assignment, but I was also eager to see Somalia’s progress

Afflicted by decades of conflict, recurring climatic shocks, epidemics and poverty, Somalia has often been referred to as a “failed state”. The narrative is changing and, although fragile, Somalia is on the path to stability, and the resilience of the Somali people is unmatched.

That said, we are under no illusions: significant challenges remain and we must work even harder to preserve the gains made to date. Somalia’s upward trajectory is evident in the construction boom: As one analyst noted, the sound of the hammer replaces the sound of gunfire in the Somali capital.

Six decades of UN support

The UN has closely supported the Somali people since the birth of the Republic in 1960. Currently, the various mandates of the UN are implemented through 26 agencies, funds and programs (residents and non-residents), a political mission ( the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM) and a logistical support mission (the United Nations Support Mission in Somalia, UNSOS).

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN has mobilized support to help the Somali government respond to the virus outbreak. We continue to support the Somali authorities in their efforts to defeat this pandemic and encourage people to get vaccinated.

Elections are also underway in Somalia. The UN is supporting the process to ensure they take place in a peaceful and transparent manner, while advocating for a 30 percent quota for women in the Somali legislature.

Long-standing challenges

While these are encouraging signs of progress, we must not forget the long-standing challenges that Somalia faces. According to UN projections for next year, it is estimated that 7.7 million Somalis (almost half of the country’s population) will need humanitarian assistance and protection, and both women and men. children continue to bear the brunt of the complex humanitarian crises in Somalia, especially among internally displaced communities.

In light of the current severe droughts, the Somali government declared a state of humanitarian emergency on 23 November. However, neither the government nor the humanitarian community have adequate resources to respond. With one month remaining in the year, the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, which targets $ 1.09 billion, remains only 70% funded.

Additional resources are urgently needed to prevent an already dire humanitarian situation from turning into a disaster, so we continue to engage partners on this issue. In this context, I carried out missions in Europe in October and in the Gulf in September.

Throughout my interactions with partners, I stressed the need for additional funding to address the escalating humanitarian crisis in Somalia and explained how inaction risks not only reversing gains, but puts the lives of millions of Somalis at risk.

During my field visits to Somalia, I have also seen first-hand the grim realities of adverse climatic conditions: Somalia is undoubtedly on the front lines of climate change.

Recurrent droughts and floods lead to widespread displacement, rapid urbanization, hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Climate change is also increasingly seen as the engine of conflict and a threat to the country’s security, as the struggle for scarce resources deepens divisions.

In addition, the loss of traditional livelihoods makes people vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups such as Al-Shabaab. Somalia is currently experiencing a third consecutive season of below-average rainfall, with nearly 80% of the country facing drought conditions, water shortages and livestock deaths, and one in five Somalis do not have enough. of water to cover its basic needs.

“We must not let the people down”

On a positive note, as part of efforts to alleviate the climate emergency, the government, with support from the United Nations, recently adopted an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution to achieving global climate goals, with Somalia pledging reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. by 30% by 2030.

Somali crises are multifaceted and require comprehensive solutions from all stakeholders. It is our collective responsibility to support the efforts of the Somali people to address these crises and find lasting solutions that build resilience in the face of future shocks. We must not betray the people we are committed to serving.

By: Adam Abdelmoula, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia

Disclaimer: “The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Garowe Online. GO will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article. “

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