Coordinated Response From International Community May Help Prevent Another Famine In Somalia
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Return to Somalia
Omar Abdi, deputy executive director of UNICEF
“…[A] long nationwide drought … has left [Somalia] on the verge of famine and could result in almost 1.4 million children being acutely malnourished this year. During my visit I witnessed the incredible resilience of my fellow Somalis and saw first-hand how the international community, including UNICEF, has scaled up their life-saving work to prevent another famine. … [T]he international community has stayed with Somalia — despite the decades-long crisis — and unlike in 2011, they have not waited for a famine to be declared to act. With funding received so far, UNICEF has saved the lives of more than 67,000 severely malnourished children, provided access to safe water to over a million people, supported 59 cholera treatment facilities, and vaccinated over 300,000 children against measles. … While the rains bring new challenges: water-borne disease, and flooding, and making access for humanitarian organizations more difficult, they also bring hope. Yet many parts of Somalia still remain with little or no rain. We cannot become complacent, but the resilience and determination of [affected families] coupled with the comprehensive, coordinated response from the international community, give me hope that we will be able to prevent a repeat of the nightmare of 2011” (5/10).