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SoDMA releases findings on Somalia’s preparedness and disaster response research

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS | MOGADISHU: The Somalia Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA) has released findings of an emergency preparedness and response (EP&R) capacity assessment aimed at the country’s resilience against natural hazards and humanitarian crises.

The research which was conducted by the Federal Government of Somalia in partnership with the World Bank evaluated five core components of Somalia’s EP&R system – legal frameworks, information systems, response facilities, emergency equipment, and response personnel.

Speaking during the event attended by Somalia’s development partners including UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA, the World Bank, United Nations agencies as well civil society organizations, Deputy Prime Minister Salah Jama said the assessment was a crucial guide to reform the department.

“This assessment provides a baseline to guide our investments and reforms. By improving early warning systems, response coordination and disaster risk financing, we can help save lives and livelihoods when droughts, floods and disease outbreaks threaten communities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

The Ready2Respond diagnostic methodology saw over 25 interviews conducted with government agencies, United Nations organizations, and humanitarian groups involved in disaster management.

“The findings give us a clear roadmap to develop policies, build infrastructure and train our workforce. We are committed to coordinating response across all levels of government and working closely with international partners through the National Emergency Operations Centre,” said Mohamud Moallim, Commissioner for Somalia Disaster Management Agency.

Key Recommendations

The report recommends the establishment of disaster legislation, clarification of institutional roles, strengthening early warning systems, upgrading emergency operations centers and logistics hubs, and increasing training and drills for response staff.

“This assessment is an important step toward building a more resilient Somalia. The World Bank is already supporting FGS in implementing immediate needs to support the Federal Government in implementing recommendations to close critical gaps and strengthen Somalia’s capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters,” said Kristina Svensen, World Bank Country Director for Somalia.

The Federal Government and humanitarian community will use these findings to update national disaster risk management plans and guide preparedness projects, with the goal of protecting vulnerable communities from future climate and health crises.

“I commend the Federal Government and World Bank for undertaking this important assessment to evaluate Somalia’s emergency preparedness systems,” said George Conway, UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator.

Adding, “The recommendations provided will help strengthen coordination and planning between national authorities and humanitarian partners, enabling a more effective response to save lives when disasters strike.

The World Bank’s Somalia Crisis Recovery Project provided technical and financial support for the assessment. Haris Khan, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist and Task Team Leader for the project, spoke about the importance of the findings.

“There is a need for a framework and shared vision among all stakeholders and the need to transition from a reactive crisis response to a more pro-active, ex-ante and holistic approach. We hope that the EP&R assessment and $79 million investment plan is a step in that direction,” said Haris Khan, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist and Task Team Leader for the Somalia Crisis Recovery Project.