Home » Education » Somalia: Early action the only way to avert another catastrophe, says senior UN relief official

Faced with a #39;slight but steady#39; increase in the number of people in need, the

humanitarian community in Somalia launched today an $864 million to reach 3.9 million

people with urgent life-saving assistance, the United Nations relief wing reported.

Immediate support is required to prevent a significant deterioration of the

humanitarian situation,rdquo; said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for

Somalia.

Given the early warning provided by the humanitarian community and the Federal

Government on the drought situation, early action is the only way to demonstrate that we

have learnt the lessons from the past to avert another catastrophe,rdquo; he added.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia for 2017 comes against a backdrop of

deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country: expanding drought conditions have

left thousands of Somalis facing severe food and water shortages. Overall, some 5 million

people are in need of relief and about 3.3 million people lack access to emergency health

services and require improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

The plight of children is particularly worrying with about 320,000 children under

the age of 5 years acutely malnourished and in need of urgent nutrition support. Of

these, 50,000 children are severely malnourished and far more vulnerable than any other

group.

Also, around 3 million school-age children are out of school with numbers

increasing and placing children at greater risk.

Furthermore, protection concerns remain high amid the humanitarian crisis with at

least 1.1 million internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups exposed to

protection risks.

#39;Giving birth is one of the greatest risks to a Somali woman#39;s life#39;

According to the Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, maternal

mortality ratio for Somalia is among the highest in the world at 732 maternal deaths per

100,000 live births.

Giving birth is one of the greatest risks to a Somali woman#39;s life,rdquo; it

said, adding that the Plan seeks to strengthen emergency response preparedness measures,

in collaboration with the country#39;s authorities, to mitigate the impact of predictable

shocks and continue to build stronger linkages between life-saving and development-based

durable solutions.

Enhancing communities#39; ability to cope with shocks through the long-term

sustainable livelihood support and basic services, including durable solutions, in a

community-based approach, will be vital in addressing underlying causes of

vulnerabilities,rdquo; it noted.

Source: United Nations (UN).

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