The UN and the government of Somalia have called for heightened efforts to protect humanitarian workers in the country noting incidents against aid workers had remarkably increased compared to last year.
In a joint statement to mark the World Humanitarian Day, the government and UN humanitarian agency OCHA warned the situation for aid workers in the country had worsened with incidents already going beyond those recorded in the whole of 2019.
“This year, World Humanitarian Day has come at a critical time when the triple threat of COVID-19, floods and desert locusts has aggravated Somalia’s complex, protracted humanitarian crisis,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula.
The statement noted incidents against humanitarian workers had risen to 141 by the end of July compared to 151 the whole of 2019. Humanitarian Affairs Minister Hamza Said Hamza condoled with aid workers noting 11 of them had been killed this year alone.
“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Somali aid workers, for their continued and unwavering service to humanity in one of the world’s most dangerous operating environments,” Hamza said.
The operating environment in Somalia is particularly challenging for humanitarian workers due to widespread insecurity and poor infrastructure, which hampers the delivery of assistance to people in need.