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An open letter Urgently calling for the postponement of Somaliland parliamentary and Local Government elections

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Sunday March 14, 2021 - 19:10:23 in Maqaallo by Wariye Tiriko
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    An open letter Urgently calling for the postponement of Somaliland parliamentary and Local Government elections

    An open letter Urgently calling for the postponement of Somaliland parliamentary and Local Government elections

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An open letter Urgently calling for the postponement of Somaliland parliamentary and Local Government elections

o : President of Somaliland

Mundane Muse Biixi Cabdi


To : British Government & other international community



We write to request that the president of Somaliland the UK government and other international donors give emergency support forthwith to help the people of Somaliland deal with the effects of the catastrophic drought and the Covid-19 pandemic. We also seek to postpone the election campaign while the people suffer and die from the effects of drought and the disease.

 

We further request that the international community, in particular the UK and other European governments, put pressure on the leaders of Somaliland not to hold elections during the global pandemic and extreme drought conditions, and that they supply lifesaving medicines and vaccines.

Once again, dry conditions are predicted in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya from this month until December, with a good chance of a poor rainy season from March until May.The timing could not be worse - the region has been destabilised by Covid-19 and the worst devastation by locusts in 50 years.

 

In 2010-2011, around 260,000 Somalians died of starvation when two consecutive rainy seasons failed. One in ten children under five died in the south of the country. In 2016-2017, back-to-back droughts, predicted by climatologists, struck again. Poor harvests led to lost revenues and a sixfold spike in the number of food-insecure people. Across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, more than 12million people were in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

 

The current drought in Somaliland that is ravaging the region is having a drastic effect on communities, with water, food and pasture quickly being exhausted. Nomadic herdsmen in parts of the country who depend on their livestock for their living have suffered huge losses, up to 80pc, due to the death of their animals from lack of pasture and water.

 

Communities urgently require basic life-saving assistance such as food, water and nutrition, as well as longer term needs such as investment in resilience planning so that communities can manage future droughts.

 

World Vision in Somaliland has responded to the nation’s needs with programmes such as Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme (TSFP), as well as protecting livelihoods through livestock restocking and cash exchange, since July 2015. However, much more support is needed to reach people who were not targeted for this help.

 

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has forecast at least 300,000 Africans are expected to die in the Covid-19 pandemic and 29 million risk being pushed into extreme poverty, as the organisation called for a $100b safety net for the continent, to include a halt to all external debt service.

 

Most of Africa, however, has mandated social distancing measures, including curfews and travel restrictions in some countries and full lockdowns in others.Combating the disease is complicated by the fact that 36% of Africans have no access to household washing facilities, and the continent counts just 1.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people. France, in comparison, has 5.98 beds per 1,000 people.

 

Although nearly 60% of the population is below the age of 25, which should help withstand the disease, 56% of the urban population is concentrated in overcrowded slums and many people are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, TB and malnutrition.

 

Another limiting factor is that Africa imports 94% of its pharmaceuticals, while at least 71 countries have banned or limited exports of certain supplies considered essential to fight the disease.



In summary, we urge you to arrange emergency vaccines and medical supplies for the millions affected every year in Somaliland by the drought caused by climate change. We also need to follow the World Health Organisation guidelines concerning hand-washing, the wearing of masks and social-distancing measures, to prevent political parties encouraging hundreds of people to gather in town halls and hotels for rallies and thereby spreading the disease.


Sultan Saciid Diiriye

Chairman

Somaliland people’s party

London U.K.


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