A high-level delegation from the African Union, led by the Chairperson of the Permanent Representatives Sub-Committee (AUPRC) on Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Ambassador Adenkule J.M. King, on Sunday visited Baidoa, Southwest State to assess the humanitarian situation in the region.
Ambassador King who was accompanied by the ATMIS Police Officer-in-Charge, Commissioner of Police (CP) Margaret Karanja, Civilian Chief of Staff Kojo Brew Acquaisie, Humanitarian officers and senior military and police officers, held discussions with the President of Southwest State Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed ‘Laftagareen’, the regional Drought Response Committee, and members of the cabinet on the effects of the ongoing drought in the region and the mitigation measures being undertaken.
“Basically, we have agreed on the need to provide more assistance to the affected people to improve on the situation. We need to explore the programmes to transition them from camp life and restore their normal livelihoods,” said Amb. King.
The delegation also visited the Kaamir IDP settlement camp to get a firsthand experience on the plight of affected people.
“The purpose of the visit was to assess the humanitarian situation of the people and the impact of the drought in the three regions of Southwest State. We have briefed the AU delegation on the overall situation of the community, their needs and priorities and the ongoing responses”, said Abdinasir Abdi Arush, the Southwest State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
During the five-day visit, Amb. King, held consultations with several stakeholders including officials of the Federal Government, Somalia’s international partners, the SRCC and ATMIS top officials as well as ambassadors of ATMIS troop contributing countries.
The sub-Committee works with the AU Commission, UN Humanitarian agencies, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations to sensitize member states and the International community on humanitarian issues in Africa.
The severe drought in Somalia affects more than 6.7 million people, while around 1.5 million children are likely to be acutely malnourished by the end of 2022.
An estimated 6.4 million people are facing acute water shortages, and more than one million have been displaced due to the drought.