Jainaba Jagne,  member of the African Union Commission sub-committee on Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons, led the delegation to Somalia
Jainaba Jagne, member of the African Union Commission sub-committee on Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced Persons, led the delegation to Somalia

Somalia fighting twin crises

The humanitarian situation in Somalia is worsening due to a prolonged armed conflict and climate change, the African Union (AU) Commission has observed.


After a visit by a high-level African Union Commission’s delegation to Somalia to assess the humanitarian situation, it said there was the need for all stakeholders to act promptly to save lives.

A representative of the African Union Commission sub-committee on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Jainaba Jagne, who led the delegation, stressed the need to find urgent and sustainable solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.


While the activities of terrorists and counter terrorism operations were displacing the people of Somalia, Climate Change was also increasing the number of persons being displaced and stretching the limited humanitarian resources.

More than eight million people are reported to have been displaced internally, including those who have fled their homes for fear of violence and attacks, and farmers and pastoralists displaced due to the impacts of climate shocks such as flooding or drought.

Pastoralists raise and herd livestock as their main source of income and are commonly located in drylands.

Pastoralist communities represent 60 per cent of Somalia’s population.

Humanitarian agencies and interventions are finding it difficult to provide aid to the many internally displaced people because most of them are located in areas with active armed conflict and limited infrastructure.

As part of the visit, the delegation held discussions with the senior leadership of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), FGS officials, Ambassadors of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs/PCCs), civil society groups, humanitarian partners and United Nations agencies.

They also visited and interacted with a number of sectors in Somalia, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Commissioner for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons and the Director General at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Briefing journalists in Mogadishu at the end of the visit, Ms Jagne said the delegation during its interaction with different stakeholders, had learnt about the impact of the ongoing withdrawal of ATMIS troops on internally Displaced Persona (IDPs) living around Force Operating Bases (FOBs).

“We have been informed that ATMIS provides clearance of safe routes for humanitarian services to the IDPs around them, water supply, medical services and even sometimes food.

“Unfortunately as the drawdown continues, we would be having a congestion of IDPs at the last drawdown," she said.

She gave an assurance that the AU would discuss it with the Federal Government of Somalia and partners to ensure the rights of the vulnerable groups were protected in the context of the 2009 Kampala Convention on Protection and Assistance of Displaced Persons (IDPs). 


Responding to questions on the magnitude of the drought in Somalia, she estimated that it would be running into millions of dollars.

The Political Officer at the Department of Health, Humanitarian and Social Development of the African Union Commission, Joseph Maada- Soyei said the Federal Government of Somalia could be able to tell the damage, cost and financial implication of climate change.

"We are quite aware that when disasters happen, they create an internal displacement within the country," he said, and added that the situation was complicated when climate change disasters forced people to cross borders to neighbouring countries.

"Then we would have to define the concept because immediately a displaced person crosses a border, he becomes a refugee, but we actually do not have in concept a climate refugee and that is the time we can actually have a challenge," he said.

Also, he said the medium-term solutions would involve getting back the victims’ livelihood and resilience so they could live in the society.

Following the visit, the delegation is expected to report part of the outcomes to the sub-committee on Returnees, Refugees and IDPs.


The delegation is also to sensitise the AU member states to help in Somalia’s drought and climate change challenges.


Ms Jagne also announced that the delegation had donated $150,000 to assist the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) with its relief efforts of providing humanitarian services to the citizens.

The gesture is in solidarity with the hundreds of residents displaced from their homes by the adverse effects of climate change.

She said the AU was also working on initiating projects and programmes to operationalise the African Humanitarian Agency, a continental agency, by next year, to tackle humanitarian challenges affecting member states, including Somalia.


Such moves, she indicated, would ensure continuous assistance to the people of Somalia.  

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...