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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Joint Press Convention at conclusion of go to to Somalia by OCHA and FAO Deputy Heads

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Mogadishu – With almost 7 million folks in Somalia – or two out of each 5 folks – in want of life-saving help this yr, and 1.7 million kids more likely to undergo from acute malnutrition, the deputy heads of the UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO) went on a subject mission to the nation to induce continued world assist for Somalis struggling the results of starvation, battle and local weather change. 

Whereas in Somalia, the OCHA Assistant Secretary-Common for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Aid Coordinator, Joyce Msuya, and FAO Deputy Director-Common, Beth Bechdol, met folks on the frontlines of the local weather disaster – in addition to Authorities officers, donor companions, and help employees seeking to scale up response efforts. 

The three-day mission concluded with a joint press convention in Mogadishu. Please learn the transcript of their opening statements beneath. 

Assistant Secretary-Common Musya: Good afternoon, members of the media and people who have joined on-line. Assalam alaikum. Now we have spent, and my colleague Beth [Bechdol, Deputy Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)] will converse, we now have spent about two and a half days right here in Somalia. I need first to begin by expressing my deepest, deepest because of the Authorities and folks of Somalia for an unbelievable heat hospitality and welcome that has made this go to very potential. 

All over the place I’ve gone, I’ve been deeply moved by the power, by the resilience, by the braveness, by the dedication ranging from the communities all the way in which as much as the Authorities on the federal degree for the folks of Somalia.

I noticed the power yesterday on Worldwide Ladies’s Day – I had the privilege of visiting Kaharey and Qansahley camps for internally displaced folks in Doolow. What impressed me is how cohesive the host communities and the IDPs [internally displaced people] had been dwelling, hand in hand in peace. I used to be additionally impressed and touched by the ladies, together with a 17-year-old, Fatma, who was form sufficient to really paint henna on my arms – a present that I’ll take with me as I go away this nation to go to New York to inform her story and the story of Somali folks, the power of communities. The spine power of Somali girls, entrepreneurs, farmers who’ve gone via the swamp a lot that but have the braveness to maintain on going – that gave me hope on Worldwide Ladies’s Day.

I additionally heard the mixed efforts – and I needed to congratulate the Authorities of Somalia – for the deep, deep dedication to working with humanitarian and growth companions, together with the UN businesses, NGOs, our native companions, to supply help to the Somali folks. The neighborhood participation, notably in offering humanitarian help, is extremely spectacular. 

If you happen to have a look at the local weather change affect on the folks of Somalia – from drought, flooding and every part in between – it’s actually spectacular to see how farming was averted with all of the collective efforts of all of the factories. But additionally, as one of many ministers talked about once we met, and I quote, “Somalia is a sufferer of secondhand smoking.” Somalia suffers from local weather change, an issue that they didn’t generate, and but, yr by yr, they should cope with the affect of local weather change. 

Our go to can also be well timed as a result of nearly every week or so in the past, the entire world met in Nairobi on the United Nations Surroundings Meeting. Our go to is a continuation of the worldwide dedication, together with however not restricted from the humanitarian neighborhood, to deal with local weather change as a driver for humanitarian [needs]. 

Having stated that, I wish to be very clear that the worst from local weather change is much from over. Somalia’s future and the lives of thousands and thousands of individuals cling on a really, very tight stability. One in 5 folks in Somalia have so little meals that their lives or livelihoods are in fast hazard. Some 1.7 million folks face acute malnutrition. This yr, we’re focusing on 5.2 billion folks out of 6.9 million folks in want. And our mission, our go to right here was geared toward really advocating for extra assist, worldwide assist, to Somalia, on humanitarian, in addition to local weather and growth, and my colleague will converse extra about that. 

As is commonly the case, girls and women bear the most important brunt of disaster and likewise local weather change. As I discussed in my feedback simply a few minutes in the past, yesterday, we had an opportunity to work together with the communities with girls farmers, IDPs, a girl who has lived in an IDP camp for 10 years, and but she was farming, and out of the merchandise from the farm, managed to purchase a goat, which supplied her household with nutritious goat milk for the youngsters and likewise allowed her to ship her kids to highschool. As we go away Somalia, we’ll take her story and plenty of, together with what we heard from the humanitarian companions, to the surface world. 

We had been very impressed by the native companions, the native and nationwide NGOs, and the humanitarian neighborhood is benefiting from working very, very intently collectively. A core a part of our job after we go away Somalia is to mobilize, to ask for extra assist from discovering companions to assist assist the Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia for 2024. 

I wish to categorical our thanks, my thanks, to the funding companions, to the humanitarian neighborhood, together with native companions, for all of the investments that they’re doing in service of Somalia’s folks. We go away this lovely nation, I’ll go away this lovely nation, forward of Ramadan subsequent week, with a deep sense of humility and a deep dedication to proceed serving, not simply the world, but in addition the folks of Somalia. 

Thanks very a lot. Shukran. 

Deputy Director-Common Bechol: Thanks very a lot to everybody gathered right here – to members of the media. 

It is rather a lot a pleasure to be right here alongside Joyce, our colleagues and OCHA primarily based in New York, and to have the ability to be right here representing the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations, headquartered in Rome. I believe it is a crucial demonstration, and what I hope turns into a brand new strategy to collaboration and partnership amongst many people contained in the UN household – to make sure that we’re actually delivering on the crucial wants that we see right here in a rustic like Somalia. 

That is my first go to to Somalia and, as Joyce talked about into her feedback, it is going to without end be one that continues to be with me – very deep felt, a really inspiring alternative – and one the place I’ve discovered fairly a bit. It’s one the place I believe, as we acknowledge from our numerous conferences and discussions, perceptions that many have are corrected from a go to similar to this. 

This can be a Somalia that isn’t the identical nation that it was 10 or 20 years in the past, and the efforts that the Federal Authorities, the folks of Somalia, companions, donors, and native actors have all put into reworking and bringing peace, stability and commitments to growth regardless of some extremely formidable challenges and obstacles – a few of which admittedly nonetheless stay. It’s definitely one thing that I believe we now have taken away from our time right here. 

As I stated, vital challenges nonetheless stay and Joyce talked about, simply quite a lot of the info factors that proceed to concern all of us. Regardless of some enhancements, 3.4 million persons are anticipated to face acute meals insecurity on this nation within the coming months. Between 2021 and 2023, we noticed the deep-felt challenges of a drought that served to be the longest in recorded historical past, pushing the nation to the brink of famine. On the identical time – very unexpectedly and doubtless one of many extra distinctive conditions of any nation on the planet – this was instantly adopted on the finish of final yr by a collection of devastating floods. Additionally, the worst on file. These are formidable obstacles and large challenges to attempt to overcome. 

What has helped in recent times has certainly been the very robust degree of dedication supplied by humanitarian donors, that’s nonetheless wanted on this explicit interval that the nation finds itself in. However it’s time to begin transitioning to extra growth assist for the nation and the folks – that’s so essential. We see that via our lens of FAO and the lens of meals and agricultural manufacturing and productiveness via the necessity to actually rework agrifood programs right here within the nation. 

This we admittedly see around the globe, whether or not it’s the impacts which were felt because of the world COVID-19 pandemic – the challenges that it introduced economically for all international locations of the world, the challenges that it delivered to logistics and provide chains, the challenges that then have emerged due to the local weather disaster, once more, affecting each individual on this planet and affecting meals and agriculture in each nook of the world. A majority of these developments together with instability, battle and conflict which have performed in in so many elements of the world, are displaying the fragility and the sensitivities of our meals and agricultural programs. So, it’s time to vary. 

What I’ve noticed right here, is the beginning of what I believe may be very transformative change in the way in which Somali meals and agriculture is dealt with. This comes from the Authorities itself, with an actual dedication to remodel, to speculate, to make it extra progressive, to be extra revolutionary, and to actually decide to the constructing blocks of what’s wanted in a constructive, productive and in the end, worthwhile, meals and agriculture economic system. It’s high quality seeds, livestock productiveness, coaching, analysis extension for smallholder farmers across the nation. It manifests within the dedication to addressing lengthy standing water points the necessity for higher irrigation administration. It’s manifesting itself in a dedication to attempt to carry ahead actual, tangible options to this local weather variability that frankly, received’t cease. We received’t see an finish to this local weather disaster. We’ll see ourselves discovering new methods to adapt and to mitigate the disaster itself. And, we’re seeing that taking place right here already. 

I’m additionally very happy with FAO, as a result of the dedication to good stable data, information and evaluation and predictive modelling and forecasting is so core to our mandate. I give nice credit score to the FAO Somalia workforce who’s right here on this occasion that we’re having with the media at the moment. It’s been stated to me many instances in simply the final two days that the workforce right here, representing FAO, due to the predictive work forward of this most up-to-date flood and the commitments that had been taken to attempt to stop that, saved 1000s of lives. That’s significant and vital affect that has taken many people to actually ship and people are the issues that we have to do extra of. 

Like Joyce, I used to be so moved by our visits yesterday to Doolow and the chance to have a good time Worldwide Ladies’s Day – not solely along with her, however with so lots of our present buddies and new buddies that we had been in a position to spend that day with. 

It’s so essential within the meals and agriculture system that we carry up with it girls. And it’s not simply due to the alternatives which might be introduced to them. It’s as a result of they’re already the spine. On the African continent, two-thirds of the work that’s achieved in meals and agriculture is completed by girls. 

There may be extra alternative, there may be extra visibility. There are extra instruments and assets that have to be delivered to bear. However I see the potential right here of ladies and women and youth usually, to seek out a possibility in a future in agriculture in Somalia. I hope that’s one thing that each one of us can proceed to work on. 

Let me simply shut with just a few thank yous and likewise just a few notes of optimism about how we work collectively and what I believe this journey, that we each made, can do to set issues into a brand new route for our work right here. 

First, I simply wish to say that all of us recognise, what’s possibly manifested by this joint go to and what we see extra broadly as members of the UN household – enterprise as standard doesn’t work any longer. We see it as FAO. We see that previous programmes, previous approaches, previous siloed methods of supporting farmers and communities simply don’t work any longer. The dimensions of the disaster is simply too huge, the assets wanted by the minute, the brand new companions which have new issues to supply – just like the non-public sector, whether or not it’s information, innovation applied sciences that aren’t invented in organizations like ours or within the UN system. 

Now we have to seek out methods to collaborate to carry higher varieties of options, extra fast or pressing and extra fit-for-purpose options ahead. And I believe this go to highlights the truth that there may be already a powerful sense of that cooperation right here. Joyce and I are definitely dedicated to creating certain that inside our UN household, we do higher collectively and convey examples of tales of want and success from Somalia again to our colleagues in New York, Rome and Geneva and elsewhere. However it’ll take a big share of companions so she has them to actually ship on the wants right here. 

Lastly, I too would simply wish to thank and provides a really robust sign of assist and commendation to the Authorities. We’ve had such fantastic discussions and conferences. I’m so impressed by the extent of dedication, the extent of technical data and understanding of wants, and the priorities which might be so clearly and so succinctly being laid out by, whether or not it’s the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Growth, and the Ministry of Vitality and Water, and the collected cooperation that’s taking place is much more vital. So, we wish to once more, thank everybody who made this journey so significant, making the visits so impactful, and we they simply want to sign another time that that is definitely a possibility for us to rally and to carry so lots of our different colleagues and companions and stakeholders collectively to do extra to advance the priorities and the wants of everybody who’s right here in Somalia. 



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