March 7, 2017 | Morning Headlines

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ICRC Sounds Alarm Over High Rates Of Child Malnutrition In Somalia

07 March- Source:Xinhua Online-243 Words

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday raised an alarm over increasing cases of severe malnutrition among children in Somalia, terming it a threat to their survival.A statement from ICRC received in Nairobi noted that the number of undernourished Somalia children in urgent need of life-saving interventions has spiked against a backdrop of biting drought currently engulfing the horn of Africa state.”This rise in child malnutrition is a serious warning sign for Somalia, one that demands both attention and immediate response,” said Jordi Raich, the head of ICRC Somalia delegation.

The statement from ICRC indicated that mothers with malnourished children have been trooping its stabilization center in Kismayo General Hospital and other parts of south and central Somalia to seek medical attention.According to the statement, 369 new patients were admitted to the stabilization centre in February this year, a 40 percent increase in one yearperiod.The statement added that 414 new patients were admitted at the center in December last year.”Since November 2016, we are feeling the strain as the number of patients increases,” remarked Mohamed Gedi who oversees the stabilization center in Somalia.”These patients are coming from the rural areas; the pastoral areas where farmers have had their crops fail twice now,” Raich said.ICRC aims to reach 1.4 million people in Somalia with food aid, clean water and cash grants this year as part of its drought response in the country.

Key Headlines

  • ICRC Sounds Alarm Over High Rates Of Child Malnutrition In Somalia (Xinhua Online)
  • HirShabelle In Deadlock Over Cabinet Appointment (Shabelle News)
  • Security Forces In Bula Hawa Parade Two Suspected Al-Shabaab Members (Goobjoog News)
  • UN Relief Chief  Lands In Somalia Amid Drought (Shabelle News)
  • EU pledges More Support For New Somalia Government  (The East African)
  • Can Aid Come In TIme To Avert Famine In Somalia? (IRIN News)


HirShabelle In Deadlock Over Cabinet Appointment

06 March – Source: Shabelle News-107 Words

A member of HirShabelle state legislative body said the number of the MPs signing the no confidence motion against President Ali Abdullahi Osoble is increasing in each passing day.Speaking with Radio Shabelle, MP Abdiweli Sheikh Ali said the lawmakers are committed to vote out the president if he doesn’t reverse his decision.  “We will stick to our motion until the President withdraws his cabinet which has been condemned by the majority of the people of HirShabelle state,” said Lawmaker Ali. HirShabelle state parliament MPs and President Osoble have been in worsening deadlock over the recent appointment of the region’s new cabinet for the past few weeks.

Security Forces In Bula Hawa Parade Two Suspected Al-Shabaab Members

06 March -Source:Goobjoog News- 189 Words

Somali security forces have paraded two alleged A-Shabaab members and pistols seized during security operation in a town southern Somalia.Ali Abshir Hassan, security forces commander in Bula Hawo said the two whose names has not yet been identified were captured as they (two) were attempting to hurl hand grenade at a residential house of one elders who selected the members of Jubbaland assembly.The two suspects were paraded  at the police station.“These perpetrators were planning to kill an elder who participated in the formation of Jubbaland State, now investigations are underway, soon we shall arraign them in court,” said Hassan.

Hassan said the terror group could not disrupt peace and stability and urged the community to collaborate with the forces to ensure security and stability of the region.Al-Shabaab which still controls rural areas in central and southern Somalia had vowed to kill delegates and elders who participate in elections. The group was pushed out from major towns in central and southern Somalia but still carries out sporadic attacks against Somali security forces and allied AMISOM troops in a bid overthrow the UN-backed Somali government in Mogadishu.

UN Relief Chief  Lands In Somalia Amid Drought

06 March – Source:Shabelle News- 94 Words

The United Nations relief chief Stephen O’Brien and a delegation he was leading has arrived in Mogadishu, the Somali Capital on Monday as the country’s is hit by a worsening drought.Stephen O’Brien was warmly welcomed at Aden Adde Airport in Mogadishu by United Nations especial envoy for Somalia Michael Keating and his deputy,  Peter De Clerq.The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said 5.5 million people in Somalia need urgent life-saving assistance over next 6 months.Millions of Somalia are currently facing food insecurity due to the severe drought.


EU pledges More Support For New Somalia Government

06 March – Source: The East African -495 Words

Somalia’s biggest donor, the European Union, has pledged increased support for the new government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.New EU special envoy to Somalia Veronique Lorenzo told The EastAfrican that the successful outcome of the elections makes relations with Somalia much easier and that their focus will now be on investment, infrastructure development and the delivery of basic services.“The new president represents a fresh beginning with a lot of popular support. We have already held three meetings with him and agreed that he needs to succeed. However, everybody knows that security remains the main challenge because it is not just about putting soldiers on the ground; it is a complex undertaking that needs serious plans for local governance and establishment of local administration to bring about some predictability,” said Ms Lorenzo.

Prior to the elections, the donors helped Somalia come up with The Somali National Development Plan (NDP) 2017-2019, to accelerate socio-economic transformation in terms of poverty alleviation, economic revival and societal transformation through gender parity.The EU remains the biggest funder of security reforms such as stipends for the police; training of the Somalia National Army (SNA) and marines; paying 80 per cent of the stipend for the 21,000 African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) troops, besides institutions of governance, education and agriculture.Ms Lorenzo said that since 2008, the EU has pumped $1.3 billion into Somalia through various financial sources. A large part of the EU development funding to Somalia is financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) that since 2014 has committed $301 million to security and peacebuilding, food security and resilience and education sectors.

Official corruption and lack of oversight mechanisms in the financial institutions in the donor-dependent country have been blamed for non-delivery of basic services such as health and education. However, Somalia’s inflation rate remains low at two per cent.Since 2013, major donors have supported the establishment of government systems and institutions in the public sector, while the International Monetary Fund has initiated a Fund Monitoring Programme to improve governance and fiscal management, strengthen institutions and foster financial sector development.


“At a clinic in Yaka, in the northeastern Bari region, mothers bring their children in for weekly weigh-ins and handouts of fortified peanut paste to treat their severe acute malnutrition.But it’s not just the children. Milgo Hussein, a 20-year-old mother of one, was also diagnosed as malnourished. She left the clinic with dozens of packs of the nutrient-rich paste and strict directions from the head nurse,”

Can Aid Come In TIme To Avert Famine In Somalia?

06 March- Source:IRIN News -1272 Words

The drought in Somalia is so severe it threatens not only to trigger famine, but also the viability of the age-old pastoralist way of life.Somalis are tough and resourceful, but this is the third consecutive year of failed rains. Whatever resilience remains is being tested to the limit.On the road out of Garowe, the capital of the northeastern Puntland region, IRIN encountered three young brothers standing next to decomposing camel carcasses and clumps of dead goats.The boys – aged under 18 – had been left behind in the desert to tend to the family’s last two camels. The family once had 300 goats – down now to 50. They used to have 15 camels. Now, just these two remained, both too weak to move.The boys had nothing to feed the animals. All they could do was wait for their parents, who were away checking a nearby village to see if any food or pasture might be available.

They would be lucky to find any. In the arid northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland, people load their animals onto trucks and travel far afield on just the rumour of pasture.The drought is expected to worsen in the coming months. That does not bode well when half of all Somalis – 6.2 million people – are already short of food or in need of livelihood support.Unless aid can be rapidly scaled up, the conditions are in place for a repeat of the 2011 famine in which 260,000 people died.
Last week, Somalia’s new President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” declared the situation a national disaster and pleaded with international donors for increased funding. Mariam Abdullahi is a mother of seven and a new arrival at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) near Shahda, 170 kilometres from Garowe. She and her husband lost more than 400 of their 500 goats to the drought and high temperatures.“All of the animals are gone,” she said. “In two weeks, we will have no food or water left.”

For now, her family – and more than 300 other families at the camp – rely on the kindness of the surrounding community. They can only hope that food aid will arrive soon.“Sixty percent of our livestock has been lost in the past two months alone,” said Ahmed Abdullahi Abdirahman, manager of Puntland’s Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Agency. “That number is increasing day after day.”Dead goats and camels litter the roadside across the semi-autonomous region, which is dependent on the federal government for emergency aid.In the livestock markets, traders are frustrated and have little to sell – even though prices have crashed. The results have been devastating for a livestock-reliant economy, shrinking people’s purchasing power. “Whether we are in urban settings or nomadic communities, it is all about livestock,” said Abdirahman.To try and cope, families have maxed out their credit to cover rocketing food and water prices. Many IDPs are in debt to their host villagers, and if the rains due in April fail again, everyone will be further impoverished.The government in Mogadishu and the humanitarian agencies are scrambling to coordinate the drought response, and to keep up with the pace of people moving across the country in search of aid.Unlike in 2011, where the drought and famine affected particular areas, the majority of the country is in trouble this time.


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