The Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mohamed Affey, and UNHCR Somalia Representative, Johann Siffointe, have today visited Wabishabele settlement for the internally displaced in Belet Weyne to meet with families severely affected by floods late last year. The UNHCR officials also met with Hiirshabelle President Mohamed Abdi Ware and Ugas Hassan Khalif Roble to discuss solutions for the displacement situation in the district.
Belet Weyne was one of the worst affected districts in Somalia according to the UNHCR led Protection and Return Monitoring Network. Of the 430,000 people displaced by the floods countrywide in the last three months of 2019, 230,000 were in Belet Weyne.
UNHCR was among the first responders to lead the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Belet Weyne and other affected regions. Following an appeal from the humanitarian community in Somalia, the American people generously donated USD five million from the U.S. Emergency Reserve Fund to UNHCR. This, along with the support from traditional and new donors, including private sector partner United Parcel Service (UPS) which generously airlifted 100 tons of core relief items and shelter kits from UNHCR’s warehouse in Dubai to Mogadishu, has enabled UNHCR and partners to assist 98,000 people since the floods began.
“While the height of the emergency has passed, so many people are continuing to live in deplorable conditions. UNHCR and partners are assessing those facing the greatest vulnerabilities and working daily to meet their needs” said UNHCR Somalia Representative.
Hiirshabelle President Mohamed Abdi Ware praised UNHCR’s response to the humanitarian situation and expressed his ongoing commitment to support the people of Belet Weyne. “Displacement caused by insecurity and natural disaster is an enormously complex matter. With 2.6 million living in protracted displacement across the country, UNHCR is working tirelessly with all levels of Government and many other stakeholders to find permanent solutions,” added the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.
UNHCR Somalia’s response to the floods with the distribution of core relief items such as jerry cans, sleeping mats, cooking utensils and emergency shelter kits is ongoing, with plans to reach an additional 15,000 vulnerable individuals.