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The top United Nations humanitarian official in Somalia has commended the drought relief and recovery efforts of the authorities in the northern state of Puntland while cautioning that the current humanitarian crisis is far from over.
“We took stock, together with [Puntland’s] leadership, of the drought response as it has been so far, looking back to what has been a good year in terms of close cooperation and a very successful drought relief effort,” the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, said in Puntland’s capital, Garowe, on Saturday, in the wake of a series of meeting with officials, including the Federal Member State’s President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali.
“At the same time, we talked about the remaining challenges because we are not out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination,” he added.
Mr de Clercq – who also serves as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia and the UN Resident Coordinator – was visiting Puntland to meet with security, planning and humanitarian officials from the local government, as well as representatives of civil society organisations, to discuss the current drought response and other challenges in the region.
Speaking on the collective response so far to the drought that has affected Puntland and the rest of Somalia for over five failed rain cycles, Mr de Clercq said that, while 2017 was a good year in terms of close cooperation to avoid the worst impact of the drought, the further effort would be needed.