The additional threat of COVID19 in Somalia besides an already fragile situation has worsened the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, the UN has warned.
Calling for concerted efforts to stem the tide, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Saturday said the COVID19 pandemic could further derail recovery efforts in the Horn of Africa nation.
While paying tribute to IDPs and refugees ‘for their resilience and courage’, UNSOM Head James Swan said, “I assure them that the United Nations is committed to their protection and to helping to rebuild their livelihoods. We also support the Somali government to uphold their right to asylum and protection. This has been made more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Somalia has 2.6 million people displaced internally and additional refugees from Yemen and Ethiopia in the upwards of 30,000.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Johann Siffointe echoed Swan’s remarks.
“World Refugee Day comes at a time of a triple threat for Somalia – in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is dealing with effects of desert locusts and flooding,” said Siffointe.
The two officials spoke in marking the World Refugee Day.
This year’s theme is ‘Everyone can make a difference, Every Action Counts’ and comes against a backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic and calls for equality.