Friday, March 1, 2013

Somalia: Humanitarian aid must not be co-opted into stabilisation campaign

Since 1991, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has worked in Somalia to provide medical care in ten regions. MSF have provided free primary healthcare, maternal health, surgery, response to epidemics like cholera or measles, immunization campaigns, water and relief supplies.
MSF warns that efforts of United Nations to integrate humanitarian assistance into the international military campaign against opponents of Somalia’s government are threatening the safety of Somalis struggling to survive.
Under discussion is the possible inclusion of humanitarian assistance within the broader political and military agenda for Somalia. Somalis are struggling to obtain the basic necessities for survival, such as food, healthcare, and protection from violence. Humanitarian assistance must be a priority and remain completely independent of any political agenda.

Aid must remain independent and impartial so that humanitarian organizations can try to get to populations in need and mitigate security risks. MSF states that attempts to further politicize humanitarian aid will put patients and aid workers in even greater danger.
A lot of people in Somalia require basic assistance, many in active conflict areas and in zones controlled by armed groups underscoring the need for independent and impartial humanitarian aid. Access to food and adequate medical care is severely limited. More than one hundred Somalis cross each day into Ethiopia to escape the deprivation, stating food shortages and insecurity as the main drivers for fleeing. Violence and food shortages were the main reasons for displacement. People lack access to basic needs

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