Mogadishu, 9th October. High-level technical experts from around the world have met this weekend in Mogadishu to kickstart a Government-led Drought Impact Needs Assessment (DINA), which will identify the drivers and impact of recurrent drought, and outline long-term solutions that can prevent famine as a result of drought. The assessment will be followed by the development of a Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF) to address the identified needs. Both the assessment and framework will enable preventative developmental solutions to be carried out alongside the delivery of humanitarian relief, so that Somalia may be able to transition towards sustainable recovery and disaster preparedness.
The assessment and framework exercises have been initiated and will be carried out by the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States under the Government’s National Development Plan, with the support of the World Bank, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).
The three-day meeting, which opened on Saturday, has seen government officials at both federal and member states levels, together with World Bank, EU and UN experts, discuss the next steps in gathering data on drought impact and needs of Somali people as a result of drought, in sectors such as livestock, agriculture, water infrastructure and food security. The exercise will build on data already gathered from across the country by government authorities and humanitarian and development agencies. The assessment and framework will look at and prioritise needs in both the rural and urban areas of Somalia as well as identify further durable solutions for protracted and newly displaced persons within the country.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Mr. Jamal Hassan, said the expectations of the Ministry and the Government for the assessment and framework are high. “We hope the Recovery and Resilience Framework that will be developed from DINA will bring a comprehensive mechanism that we, the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States, will utilize in order to mitigate the negative impacts of drought that we are still facing,” he said.
The Federal Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Hamoud Ali Hasan, said the time was right to begin looking at and implementing long-term preventative solutions that reduce vulnerability to drought in Somalia.
“Fortunately, we are at a stage now where we have stronger systems and administrations in place, we have stronger Federal Government and Federal Member State Governments to lead the process, and we have international partners and technical experts gathered here & dedicated to helping those affected by drought in the country. So we can begin to start putting an end to these recurrent droughts and famine in Somalia,” he said.
The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Somalia, Mr. Peter de Clercq, highlighted that it was vital to continue to provide humanitarian assistance while at the same time working to ensure a drought would never again turn into famine. “We do not see humanitarian and development issues as sequential – or following each other – we are in the middle of a drought and therefore we see these two processes as completely interlinked with each other,” he said.
Mr. de Clercq also highlighted the progress made by Somalia since the 2011 famine, including the launch of the Government’s National Development Plan. “There is an opportunity to take a leap forward in this country, to start focusing on sustainable solutions and sustainable development. The National Development Plan is a fantastic roadmap for that, and we have institutions and mechanisms that have been built up since 2011 that can manage development and humanitarian cooperation in this country,” he added.
Mr. Matthias Mayr of the World Bank congratulated the Government, Federal Member States, the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, for their work as champions of recovery and long-term development, and their leadership in launching the exercise. He underlined that the objective of the exercise was to gain concrete information and solutions to address the issues faced by Somali people impacted by drought.
“We have brought experts here who have done these exercises all around the world. We are very happy that we have a solid team with us here. We aim to engage a variety of stakeholders, from the Federal Member States, from the areas most affected by the drought, and prioritize a number of important issues that we can tackle collectively in partnership,” he said.
Mr. Fulgencio Garrido-Ruiz, speaking on behalf of the European Union, reiterated that the mobilization of the Government of Somalia and international partners in response to the drought has been exemplary. “To ensure that our response has the most impact we need to assess the damages and losses caused by the drought and identify needs, and with that inform our investments and efforts so that we can build national capacity and resilience of Somali citizens. The EU is very proud to be part of this exercise,” Mr. Garrido-Ruiz said.
The Drought Impact Needs Assessment and development of the Recovery and Resilience Framework is scheduled for completion by December 2017.