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UNICEF Official Says Lack of Funds Hampering Work in Somalia

  • Peter Clottey

The Somali government is battling hard line Islamic insurgent groups including al-Shabab to stabilize the country.

The Somali government is battling hard line Islamic insurgent groups including al-Shabab to stabilize the country.

A spokesman for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says the organization is having difficulties in raising funds towards its work in Somalia

A spokesman for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says the organization is having difficulties in raising funds towards its work in Somalia.

Patrick McCormic said the lack of contributors in funding UNICEF’s work in Somalia could be attributed to donor fatigue.

UNICEF is struggling to raise funds

UNICEF is struggling to raise funds

“We are having problems raising funds for Somalia. It wouldn’t be the first time, but I think now it is getting quite critical. It’s a very expensive and difficult place to work and this is been combined with classic donor fatigue. Stopping giving money to work in Somalia for various reasons; they see the country as a failed state as one that is very difficult to work in and …we are trying to tell them that where we can go, we can make a huge difference to children in Somalia,” he said.

It is estimated that Somalia’s ongoing humanitarian emergency affects 3.6 million people, half of them children.

McCormic said the security situation impedes humanitarian efforts.

“I think the perception that half of the country is off limits …there have been instances in the last four to six months, UNICEF’s warehouse was robbed…and our equipment taken…there‘ve been instances of kidnapping. This whole security and access issue is what is making the donors think twice about giving to Somalia,” McCormic said.

Analysts say Somalia faces a crisis if UNICEF is unable to raise enough funds for its humanitarian work.

But McCormic said UNICEF officials will continue with fundraising efforts.

“You know what? We made the case and I know that our representative is going round capitals and talking to people and saying look, I can show you that when we manage to get to these places…we can raise the immunization rate (and) we can lower the mortality rates. So, we are making a difference and we need your support. And we hope this will work,” McCormic said.

He also said UNICEF will need $12 million for the first quarter of the year to carry out its humanitarian work in Somalia.

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