Qatar Charity organizes a panel discussion on preventing famine in Somalia: Towards an effective and urgent response
Qatar Charity and the Center for Humanitarian and Development Studies (RASD) convened a virtual panel discussion under the title: “Famine in Somalia under the title: Towards effective and urgent response”. The virtual event gathered UN agencies, INGOs, and local actors including the United Nations Office for coordination of Humanitarian affairs, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), International Displacement monitoring Center (IDMC), and Save the Children, as well as attendees from more than 25 countries. In his opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Muraikhi, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General on public-private partnerships and Islamic financing stressed that dynamic solutions to address the complex challenges of food insecurity in Somalia should be prioritized and explored through building partnerships among NGOs and with the private sector to generate innovative solutions.The Special Envoy of the President of Somalia for humanitarian affairs and droughts gave keynote remarks H.E. Mr. Abdel Rahman AbdelShakour reflected the reality of the situation in Somalis amid the catastrophic drought further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated “We are calling for international donors, corporate foundations, and individual philanthropic donors to urgently fund the current humanitarian appeal to respond to the drought crisis currently in Somalia. Let us save millions of lives, change the story, and avert the current drought situation, which is the worst yet experienced in a decade.”the event also featured interventions by Ms. Andrea Koulaimah Gabriel, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Pacific at the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, Ms. Alexandra Bilak, Director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, Mr. Nawaf Al-Hammadi Assistant CEO of Operations and Programs Sector at Qatar Charity, Ms. Claire Sanford, Deputy Humanitarian Director for Save the Children UK, Mr. Shafie Abtadoon, Director of the Monitoring Centre for Humanitarian and Development Studies (RASD) Somalia and Mr. Ian Ridley, Head of OCHA Somalia. Mr. Nawaf Al-Hammadi Assistant CEO of Operations and Programs Sector at Qatar Charity said:“There are several key factors for ensuring an effective and rapid response in Somalia: always keep local communities on board, invest in finding long-term durable solutions to recurrent emergencies, and closely coordinate efforts in harmony with local actors on the ground and UN agencies to ensure rapid, cost-effective and impactful humanitarian assistance.” Closing the event, HE. Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Thani, Special Envoy of the Arab League Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs expressed the importance of building the resilience of communities in Somalia. “It is necessary to invest and adopt long-term developmental solutions, enhance local production of goods and services needed by the Somali people, and build the resilience of communities through enhancing local capacities and promoting economic empowerment.” The event comes amid alerts from UN agencies warning that nearly half the population of Somalia faces acute levels of food insecurity and a growing risk of famine as the country is faced with the worst drought in 40 years.