Japan Backs IOM Aid Operations in Drought-Stricken Somalia

Posted: 
02/10/17
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons, Migration and Climate Change, Migration and Environment

Somalia - The Government of Japan has committed over USD 3.6 million to support IOM’s response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia. The funds will help IOM address urgent needs of vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities throughout 2017 and into 2018.

The funds will help save the lives of those affected by climate-induced and man-made crises, increase human security and stability, and help counter and prevent violent extremism. They will also contribute to increasing the government’s capacity to cope with displacement due to natural disasters and conflicts. The number of IDPs in Somalia is projected to increase to three million by June 2017.

The funds will also be used to strengthen Somalia’s marine border management capacity to save the lives of trafficking victims and irregular migrants. Thousands of Somali migrants try to reach Europe and the Gulf States via irregular routes every year. Many of them are abused and exploited and an IOM Somalia project provided direct assistance to 97 victims of trafficking – most of them minors – in 2016.

“Japan’s contribution arrives at a critical time as Somalia faces deteriorating drought conditions and severe famine warnings. These funds will help IOM provide assistance to the most vulnerable communities affected by prolonged drought conditions,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia became increasingly fragile towards the end of 2016, especially in northern regions, where Puntland and Somaliland saw deteriorating drought conditions. The drought has now expanded to southern and central regions, including Gedo, Hiraan, Galgaduud and Lower Juba.

Last week, IOM warned that over six million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, with some areas in Somalia expected to experience famine within four months. Hunger is particularly acute among the 1.1 million people living in situations of protracted internal displacement.

Support will be primarily delivered in the form of integrated life-saving assistance through health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security and protection activities, technical assistance and training for government and regional authorities, and collection and dissemination of displacement data.

IOM will also continue to introduce innovative Japanese technologies and scale up public-private partnerships with Panasonic, Poly-Glu, and Tottori Resource Recycling Inc. as part of its response to the humanitarian crisis.

Since 2012, the Government of Japan has supported IOM’s humanitarian and recovery activities in Somalia, including the delivery of immediate live-saving relief, community stabilization and early recovery activities, as well as emergency return and reintegration assistance for migrants caught in crises.

For further information, please contact Chiaki Ito at IOM Somalia. Tel: +254 737 860 720, Email: cito@iom.int

Japan has funded a wide range of IOM projects to help displaced families in Somalia. File photo: IOM
Japan has funded a wide range of IOM projects to help displaced families in Somalia. File photo: IOM
A beneficiary receives a prescription from one of the Japan funded health clinics in Puntland, Somalia. File photo: IOM / Mary- Sanyu Osire
A beneficiary receives a prescription from one of the Japan funded health clinics in Puntland, Somalia. File photo: IOM / Mary- Sanyu Osire