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Humanitarian Watch

UNITED STATES ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN RESPONSE TO FAMINE RISK, VIOLENCE, AND FORCED DISPLACEMENT

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For Immediate Release

Saturday, July 8, 2017

USAID Press Office
+1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov | Twitter: @USAID

Today, the United States announced nearly $639 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the millions of people affected by food insecurity and violence in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. This additional funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to over $1.8 billion for these four crises since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017.

With this new assistance, the United States is providing additional emergency food and nutrition assistance, life-saving medical care, improved sanitation, emergency shelter, and protection for those who have been affected by conflict, including both those displaced internally and as refugees.  The United States is also providing safe drinking water and supporting hygiene and health programs to treat and prevent disease outbreaks for all four crises, including in Yemen, which is experiencing the world’s largest outbreak of cholera.

Tens of millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the man-made crises in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen-all of which are driven by violent conflict-and Somalia, where ongoing conflict is exacerbating the effects of severe and prolonged drought. While a swift influx of aid helped to alleviate famine in some areas of South Sudan, and has so far prevented famine in Yemen and Somalia, the overall food-security situation is worsening, and life-threatening hunger continues to spread in both scope and scale. Ongoing violence in all four countries, including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers, continues to prevent aid from reaching some of the people most in need, and to force still more displacement.  We commend the generosity of communities and neighboring countries that receive those fleeing these crises.

The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises and the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance in the world. The aid we provide represents the best of America’s generosity and goodwill. We will continue to work with our international and local partners to provide the life-saving aid needed to avert famine, and to support communities impacted by these crises. We welcome the contributions already provided by other international donors, but as needs continue to rise, we urge other donors to increase their level of humanitarian support to help save more lives.

Humanitarian Watch

More Than 130 Somali Refugees Repatriated from Yemen

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GENEVA — In a joint operation funded by the United States, the U.N. migration and refugee agencies have repatriated 134 Somali refugees from war-torn Yemen.

A refugee boat carrying 73 men and women and 61 children left the Yemeni port of Aden on Monday and is to arrive Tuesday at the Somali port of Berbera. It is the third voluntary return of Somalis organized by the International Organization for Migration and U.N. refugee agency since September.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said some previous efforts had to be suspended in the past few years because of the risks involved in organizing an operation such as this in a war-torn country.

“Despite security difficulties there and the fact of divided authorities, we were still able to get into an area around Aden that has not always been accessible to humanitarian aid groups and manage this transport,” he said.

The U.N. migration agency reports the Somalis came to Yemen in search of a better life, but got caught up in the conflict and often were subjected to abuse by smugglers. The IOM began organizing the voluntary returns in November 2016. Since then, the agency has helped 1,845 Somalis return home.

Millman told VOA Somali refugees receive a reintegration package to help them restart their lives when they arrive home. He said they often receive a grant of $1,100 so they can start a business, buy a cow, or invest in some other form of livelihood. That acts as a big inducement for refugees to voluntarily return, he noted.

“It is a strong sweetener because the stigma of going abroad and failing is so great that we find this is a very effective way of lubricating I guess is the best word, this process,” he said.

Millman said the cash grant ends up being less expensive for the donor than the cost of keeping a refugee or migrant in detention in Europe. He noted that the repatriation project is funded by a $4.4 million donation from the United States.

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Humanitarian Watch

Somalia faces yet another famine

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Somalia is facing its second major famine in six years.

Under the shadow of that threat, one aid group is making a difference for the many Somalis who have lost loved ones and their homes.

When it struck in 2011, the Turkish Red Crescent was among the first international aid groups to help. And it hasn’t left Somalia since.

TRT World’s Editor-at-Large Ahmed al Burai, has more.

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Humanitarian Watch

9 dead, more at a risk as drought ravages Somalia

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A severe drought has claimed the lives of at least nine people in Somalia’s Galkayo District, media reported.

The state broadcaster, Mogadishu Radio, quoted Galkayo Mayor Hersi Yusuf Bare giving the statistics while warning that the situation could get worse.

“The destitute people I met at Harhaar pastoral land are deeply susceptible to the effects of the famine generated by the severe drought,” said Mr Bare.

“So far, nine people have died in the areas visited, a sign that many more were vulnerable,” he added.

The mayor said the severe weather conditions had displaced thousands from Galkayo, which lies some 750km north of the capital Mogadishu.

He stressed that many nomadic people had been forced to migrate as the drought continued to decimate most of their livestock.

The generally insufficient rains in the southern and central Somalia have severely diminished the local food supplies.

UN agency OCHA on August 31 stated that malnutrition had reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia.

“Malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily, though not exclusively among displaced populations,” OCHA was quoted saying in ReliefWeb .

“Overall, some 388,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children.”

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