UN calls for protection of aid workers amid crisis in Somalia

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The United Nations on Thursday called on all parties in Somalia to protect humanitarian workers who provide life-saving assistance to vulnerable persons in the country.

Adam Abdelmoula, UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said 146 incidents impacting humanitarian operations have been recorded in Somalia since the start of 2021 and in the first seven months of 2021, one humanitarian worker was killed, five more injured, one abducted and three detained or temporarily arrested.

“Targeting humanitarian workers is an egregious violation of international humanitarian law and such attacks must never be tolerated. I implore all parties to do their part to ensure protection of all humanitarian workers as they continue to provide support to the most at-risk communities,” he said in a statement issued to mark the World Humanitarian Day which fell on Thursday.

While urging Somalia and its partners to act collectively and urgently to stave off further destruction of the planet as the climate crisis continues to ravage the world, Abdelmoula said Somalia is a prime example of how the climate emergency disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable, despite the fact that they contribute to it the least.

“We are in a race against time, a race to prioritize and address the needs of the most vulnerable Somalis and to break this vicious cycle of environmental degradation, displacement and loss of livelihoods,” he said. “This means investment in short, medium and long-term solutions that can resist future climate shocks, use of nature-based solutions and low carbon energy sources, and strengthening resilience and adaptive capabilities of the affected communities.”

According to Abdelmoula, the country’s cyclical droughts and floods make water either a short supply with drought-like conditions or a destructive force that sweeps away all life in its path and breaks embankments.

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