Somalia is considered the poorest and most violent country in the world which in the last 20 years did not benefited from political stability and nowadays it is drastically affected by what is considered to be the worst crisis in a generation. The combination of one of East Africa’s worst droughts in 60 years and Somalia’s relentless conflict has depleted the country’s food supplies, and tens of thousands of Somalis have died of malnutrition-related causes in the past few months. UNHCO took the initiative regarding the devastating situation of this country and it sent a special mission in the region which is engaged in providing the necessary humanitarian aid to an impressive number of people who are in need of urgent assistance. Moreover, the health agency calls upon the international communities to join forces in order to provide these people food, water, shelter, medical care and other vital assistance because a huge number of them are harbored in makeshift shelters and they are decided to remain there until rains will come or the political situation will be improved.
Apart from Somalia, the worst drought in 60 years is currently putting over 10 million people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya at risk of severe shortages of food and water. A tremendous number of people are on the move walking hundreds of miles in a desperate search for food and water and many of them are dying from malnutrition and disease along the way. Immediate action is required but unfortunately, the political instability sometimes hinders even the healthcare agency to intervene with adequate help. In spite of the promises received from European Union and United States which now they are unable to provide it due to the economic crisis, UNHCO is in a position in which it has to cope alone the hostile political climate but it is committed to protect the vulnerable population no matter what. Its projects and programs include collaborations with African governments and Africa Union as well as individual donations to charities on order to provide this country the necessary resources to rehabilitate.
The crisis in the African Horn will not end pretty soon thus the healthcare agency developed sustainable programs which will be implemented in a long time frame. One of the directions in which it acts is attracting long-term, strategic investments in order to capitalize on the agricultural potential of the region and to implement a strong disaster risk management. In this way UNHCO not only that provides timely help for Somalia and other countries which are about to get in the same situation, but it also offers them the needed resources to be able to handle better the eventual disasters.
For more information about the agency and its programs and projects please visit http://www.unhco.org/horn-of-africa/