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01 August 2011

Somalia: Disaster Management Agency

(Mogadishu, 30 July 2011): The Prime Minister of Somalia Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali having considered the urgent need to manage disaster, the Government’s responsibility towards the droughts situation and the people fleeing from their homes due to the current famine stage. The Prime Minister having assessed the current famine situation in the country and the proposals of setting up Disaster Management Agency from the humanitarian assistance ministerial committee decided to set up Disaster Management Agency.

The Prime Minister appointed individuals that are well known within the community and have the confidence of the people to lead the agency. These individuals also have the knowledge, and the experience to leading the agency. The names of the management team of the agency are as follows:

Abdullahi Mohamed Shirwa – Chairperson of the Disaster Relief Agency

Jamal Mohamed Barrow – Deputy Chairperson for Programs

Abdihakim Ahmed Guled – Deputy Chairperson for Management

Ali Abdirahman Ahmed – Head of logistics

The Prime Minister wishes for the above team to fulfill their duties, roles and responsibilities to the best of their abilities with patriotism, honesty and integrity. The agency is expected to manage all disaster issues within the country, and in particular the current famine situation in the country. The Disaster Management Agency is an independent agency and above individuals are from civil society groups.

Somali people face the worst drought for 60 years due to lack of rain coupled with Al-Shabaab refusing aid agencies to deliver food aid to the needy people. As a result of this, thousands fled from their homes to either Mogadishu (government controlled areas) or neighboring countries, such as Kenya and Ethiopia.

The reason for the Government wanting an independent agency from the civil society is that humanitarian assistance should be free from politics and the government wants the agency to freely reach out to the people who are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Government would like to appeal to the international community, in particular humanitarian aid agencies to urgently and speedily provide timely humanitarian assistance to the people who are desperately in need of help. The Government would also like to appeal to Somalis in the Diaspora, the business community and in general to the people of Somalia to help out their brothers and sisters who are internally displaced within the country and those who fled outside of the country. Finally, the Government instructs to all government agencies in particular security and law enforcement agencies to assist and work with the Disaster Management Agency.

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