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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Somalia, Turkey

29 Jul 2022

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More than 7 million people have been affected by a deepening drought in Somalia. Photo credit: UN

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –  29 July 2022

Somalia

A group of senior humanitarian directors representing UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs wrapped up a visit yesterday to Somalia, where more than 7 million people have been affected by a deepening drought which has taken hold across the entire country .

The team, made up of directors from OCHA, WFP, FAO, UNHCR, UNDP, World Vision International and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and representing the Emergency Directors Group  of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), met with affected people  and aid workers in Baidoa in South West State and Baardhere in Jubaland State. They saw the increasingly alarming situation in displacement sites, where large numbers of people continue to arrive due to a lack of water and food, as well as conflict and insecurity.

Local and international humanitarian organizations and government partners are working hard to try to cover the most urgent needs and to avert a famine. More than 4 million drought affected people have been reached with assistance.  But humanitarian organizations face mounting challenges as they try to extend the response further into rural areas, including security-related access constraints and severe shortfalls in funding for essential life-saving activities.
So far, 62 per cent of the $993.3 million  required for prioritized, life-saving drought response activities in Somalia has been received.

The threat of famine is looming but the scale of need is already staggering.

Some 7.1 million people are already in a situation of acute food security, which means they don't have enough food to eat. This includes more than 213,000 people who are experiencing catastrophic levels of food insecurity. Hundreds of thousands of children are severely acutely malnourished and 6.4 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks. Women, children and the elderly are bearing the brunt of the crisis, with a growing number of unaccompanied children among the displaced and increasing risks of gender-based violence in crowded displacement sites.

Across Somalia, northern Kenya and southern and eastern Ethiopia, more than 21 million people are affected by the drought, following four consecutive failed rainy seasons. The failure of a fifth rainy season this fall now looks increasingly likely. Further funding is urgently needed to prevent a large-scale loss of life.

Turkey

From Turkey, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Joyce Msuya, wrapped up a five-day visit to Türkiye today. In Gaziantep and Hatay, Ms. Msuya met with displaced Syrian women, as well as with humanitarian partners, UN staff, donors and Turkish Government authorities involved in the UN cross-border aid response.

Ms. Msuya applauded the Government of Türkiye for supporting humanitarian work and expressed appreciation to Türkiye, which is the world’s largest refugee-hosting country, hosting 3.7 million refugees.

As we have told you, 4.1 million people in north-west Syria rely on UN aid to meet their basic needs. Every month, we deliver food and other aid from Türkiye, reaching 2.4 million people in Syria. We are also hoping that there will be increased investment in early recovery and livelihood projects.

The current cross-border authorization will expire in six months — at the peak of winter — if the Security Council does not grant an additional extension. While efforts are under way to increase the delivery of cross-line aid from Syria, at present, such deliveries cannot replace the scope and scale of the cross-border operation.

During her visit to the UN Trans-shipment Hub in Hatay, Ms. Msuya saw the rigorous monitoring process involved in the cross-border response, stressing how this mechanism is making a real difference.