Aid agencies seek solutions to climate emergency needs in Somalia

Xinhua News Agency | Nov 10, 2019 at 12:30 PM

MOGADISHU, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Aid agencies operating in Somalia on Saturday called on the international community to urgently address climate emergency needs in the Horn of Africa nation.

The local and international agencies under the umbrella organization, the Somalia NGO Consortium, said immediate and long-term needs across Somalia must be seen as part of the global climate crisis and responded to urgently.

"The crises occurring within Somalia's borders are a global responsibility. Climatic shocks are not a local phenomenon but a manifestation of the growing environmental emergency," Nasra Ismail, director of Somalia NGO Consortium said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The agencies said they are struggling to keep pace with immense humanitarian needs across the country in the midst of a worsening complex emergency.

In recent weeks, it said, more than half a million people have been affected by floods and an estimated 370,000 people have fled homes submerged in floodwater.

The agencies appealed to government officials set to meet in South Africa next week for the 17th Regular Session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to reinforce the need for support and engagement from governments beyond Africa to address climate-related disasters.

"The responsibility to take immediate action to mitigate disaster risks and meet immediate needs, in line with the international instruments like the Paris Agreement, falls on all nations," said Ismail.

According to the consortium, the needs across the country are some of the highest in the world, with the UN reporting that in the absence of sufficient assistance, as many as 6.3 million people face food insecurity.

"The number of Somali people who are displaced and those who are in need of emergency assistance is extremely high and continues to grow. We have a responsibility to ensure that people in need of assistance can access it, and we call on the international community to enable it," said Ismail.

In recent weeks, said the agencies, widespread damage to farmland and infrastructure has occurred against a backdrop of sustained conflict and repeated climate shocks.