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Aid workers facing more risks, Govt’, UN urge protection

Storyline:National News

Humanitarian workers in Somalia are facing increasingly difficult situations, the Federal Government and the UN have said calling for enhanced measures to protect them.

A joint statement from the government and the UN aid agency OCHA to mark the World Humanitarian Day noted aid workers in the Horn of Africa nation were exposed to risks especially in light of the COVID19 pandemic.
Humanitarian Affairs Minister Hamza Said Hamza paid tribute to aid workers who have sacrificed including paying the ultimate price to support and reach the those affected in the country.
“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 two said Somalia was witnessing a surge in  incidents against aid workers.
The access constraints surged during the first half of 2020, with 141 incidents reported against humanitarian operations by the end of July, compared to 151 in all of 2019. Eleven humanitarian workers were killed, 11 wounded and 23 kidnapped, including seven who were kidnapped and murdered in a single incident.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia
Adam Abdelmoula noted the situation had worsened with the onset of COVID19 and desert locust invasions.
“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 Abdelmoula.
The UN General Assembly designated August 19 in 2009 as an international day to celebrate aid workers and shed the light on their welfare.