MOGADISHU — We, the undersigned NGOs, are extremely concerned about the devastating humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
Nearly half of Somalia?s population, or 3.25 million people, are now in need of emergency aid. This is a 77% increase since the beginning of 2008. This number has increased dramatically over the past year due to the destructive combination of extreme insecurity, drought and record-high food prices. The situation is expected to deteriorate further with ordinary Somalis bearing the brunt of the cost.
Despite the ongoing political process we have not witnessed any lessening of the violence that continues to have a horrendous impact on civilians.
In the last few weeks, renewed shelling in Mogadishu has displaced approximately 37,000 civilians from their homes. Over the past nine months, 870,000 have fled for their lives. A total of 1.1 million people are currently displaced in Somalia today.
We are appalled by the indiscriminate and disproportional use of force by all armed parties to the conflict, which is further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.
The poorest of Mogadishu?s residents have no means to flee the extreme violence and have limited means to earn a living leaving them completely dependent on humanitarian assistance. This while the average Somali has seen price increases for food and water of up to 1,000 percent, plunging many into worsening poverty. One in six children under five, or approximately 180,000 children, is acutely malnourished in South and Central Somalia.
Aid workers are increasingly the victims of assassination and kidnapping and are now seen as legitimate targets. This year alone 24 aid workers, of which 20 are Somali nationals, have been killed whilst carrying out their work. The whereabouts of another ten are unknown. There have been 111 reported security incidents directly targeting aid agencies.
National and international aid agencies are prevented from responding effectively to the needs of ordinary Somalis because of violence and severely limited access. At present, South and Central Somalia is almost entirely off limits to international staff of aid agencies.
We call upon all parties to the conflict to allow aid agencies unhindered access to Somalis who are in desperate need of emergency assistance.
The international community has completely failed Somali civilians. We call on the international community to make the protection of Somali civilians a top priority now.
Signatories to the statement (52 National and International NGOs):
- ADRA - Adventist Relief Development Agency
- AET ? Africa Educational Trust
- AFREC ? Africa Rescue Committee
- ASEP ? Advancement for Small Enterprise Program
- CARE ? Cooperative Assistance for Relief Everywhere
- CARITAS SWITZERLAND & CARITAS LUXUMBOURG
- CEFA ? Somalia European Committee for Agricultural Training
- CISP ? Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli
- CPD Centre for Peace and Democracy
- COOPI ? Cooperazione Internazionale
- DEVELOPMENT CONCERN
- DRC - Danish Refugee Council
- DIAKONIA EMERGENCY AID BREAD FOR THE WORLD
- DIAKONIA Sweden
- FERO ? Family Economy Rehabilitation Organization
- GHC ? Gedo Health Consortium
- GREDO ? Gol Yome Rehabilitatation & Development Organisation
- HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
- HAPO CHILD ? Hiran HIV/AIDS Prevention and Child Protecton Organisation
- HARDO ? Humanitarian Action for Relief and Development Organisation
- HIMILO ? Himilo Relief and Development Association
- HORN RELIEF
- IAS ? International Aid Services
- IDF ? Integrated Development Focus
- IMC ? International Medical Corps
- INTERPEACE/WSP ? Interpeace / War torn Societies
- IRC ? International Rescue Committee
- IREX ? International Research & Exchanges Board
- ISLAMIC RELIEF
- KAALO RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT
- MAG ? Mines Advisory Group
- MERCY CORPS SOMALIA
- NORWEGIAN CHURCH AID
- NRC ? Norwegian Refugee Council
- OXFAM INTERNATIONAL
- PROGRESSIO UK
- RI ? Relief International
- SAACID AUSTRALIA
- SCUK ? Save the Children UK
- TERRA NUOVA ? Terra Nuova Association for International Cooperation to Development
- VSF SUISSE ? Veterinaires Sans Frontieres - Switzerland
- VSF GERMANY - Veterinaires Sans Frontieres - Germany
- WOCCA ? Women and Child Care Organization
- WORLD CONCERN
- WORLD VISION </oL