Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – On January 24, The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to discuss the humanitarian situation in Somalia, according to the statement by USAID.
The two discussed advancing climate adaptation and supporting the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to diminish the influence of the militant group al-Shabaab across the country.
The statement from USAID said that during the meeting, Power expressed her condolences to the people of Somalia following recent attacks by al-Shabaab and pledged to stand with the Somali people in their time of need.
“President Hassan Sheikh thanked the U.S. government for providing two-thirds of all donor funding for drought response, totaling nearly $1.3 billion, since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022,” said the statement.
Given the sustained and repeated climate shocks in the region, the two also discussed finding more sustainable and transformative ways to address and adapt to the impacts of climate change on Somalia’s food security. They agreed to coordinate efforts to encourage greater investment in Somali-led climate adaptation and resilience programs.
In addition, Power announced $5 million in USAID support for stabilization efforts to help deliver urgently needed services to communities that have risen up against al-Shabaab. She further emphasized support for federal reconciliation, noting it as a necessary foundation for sustained progress on security, governance, and economic reform.
The situation in Somalia remains dire, with a prolonged drought and ongoing conflict making it difficult for aid organizations to reach those in need. According to the United Nations, more than half of the country’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
Somalia has been plagued by civil war and conflict for decades, with al-Shabab, a militant group with ties to al-Qaeda, wreaking havoc across the country.
The group has been responsible for several high-profile attacks. Its activities have also made it difficult for aid organizations to reach those in need, with many areas remaining inaccessible due to ongoing fighting.
In recent years, the Somali government, with the support of international partners, and local militias, has made significant strides in pushing back against al-Shabab. However, the group remains a threat and continues to carry out attacks in various parts of the country.
In addition to the ongoing conflict, Somalia is also facing the prospect of a sixth failed rainy season, which would exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation.
The prolonged drought has led to widespread food insecurity, with millions of Somalis at risk of starvation. The situation is particularly dire in rural areas, where many communities rely on agriculture as their primary source of income.