The Somalia Partnership forum has been meeting this week and discussing challenges facing the country. The Somalian government, United Nations and international representatives sat down over two days to talk about investment, infrastructure, humanitarian and development issues.
Earlier in 2017 the threat of famine from a serious drought was averted by the country’s response but it was recognised that many people are still vulnerable to a major disaster.
“Unfortunately, we cannot declare victory, and we have to exercise extreme caution because the situation remains the worst we have faced in recent living memory after four failed rainy seasons,” said Peter de Clercq, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia.
“We continue to need deliveries of humanitarian assistance to the tune of $100 million per month,” he explained.
From the UN News article, de Clercq said that $1.2 billion was raised in 2017 and Somalia’s government was looking to raise $1.5 billion in 2018.
As we see often on the blog, it is all too easy for a drought that could be managed to become a major famine when access to basics like healthcare, education and employment are already tenuous.
President Farmaajo spoke about the importance of socio-economic efforts to prevent radicalisation, citing the need to provide jobs to young people. He also spoke about using debt relief and aid to improve infrastructure saying, “If we are not able to build roads required by our small businesses to bring their produce to market, it would be difficult to meet our stated goal of reducing poverty.”
The Gardiner Foundation knows how interlinked all these aspects of poverty, education, employment, healthcare and infrastructure are. We believe the most sustainable route out of poverty is entrepreneurship and self employment where individuals can raise themselves, their families and their community out of poverty and have a positive impact on all these other areas.