SOMALIA / FOOD SITUATION PRESSER

01-Sep-2015 00:02:20
The United Nations Monday (31 Aug) released results of the latest Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia, indicating that the country’s humanitarian situation remains highly alarming.  UNSOM
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STORY: SOMALIA / FOOD SITUATION PRESSER
TRT: 02:20
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 31 AUGUST 2015, MOGADISHU, SOMALIA
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (DSRSG), Resident Humanitarian Coordinator Peter de Clercq and the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Somalia Richard Trenchard arrive for the press briefing
2. Med shot, DSRSG and Resident Humanitarian Coordinator Peter de Clercq and the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Somalia Richard Trenchard
3. Wide shot, journalist in attendance
4. Close up, camera LCD display
5. SOUNDBITE (English) DSRSG, Humanitarian Coordinator Peter de Clercq: “The outlook is also not giving us cause for optimism. Malnutrition continues to be pervasive and the situation is currently getting worse. Malnutrition rates in fact are going to increase before the end of the year due to below average cereal production and poor rainfall in sub-pastoral and agro-pastoral areas; (and) trade disruption of course in most conflict-affected areas and continued displacement as I already referred to.”
6. Close up, FAO representative in Somalia Richard Trenchard
7. SOUNDBITE (English) DSRSG, Humanitarian Coordinator Peter de Clercq: “My most important message today will be that while saving lives and livelihoods continues to be very important, we must simultaneously also address underlying causes. Most of the underlying causes of Somalia’s protracted crisis remain unresolved. The sobering reality is that any shock could plunge Somalia into another devastating emergency. We therefore need to ensure that the critical vulnerability levels are brought down and that we reduce risk of having far too many people slide back into crisis”.
8. Med shot, OCHA Somalia PIO Maurizio Giuliano listening to the Nairobi briefing
9. SOUNDBITE (English) the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Somalia Richard Trenchard:
“There is a lot of work starting now in terms of preparedness. And let me focus particularly on preparedness that has been done to support farmers and livestock owners. There are two major things we can do; one is to minimize the extent of flooding. There is a lot of work going on now particularly in the Shabelle area along the Shabelle River to reinforce river banks, etcetera, to put sandbags along the river. That will just reduce the amount of flooding that takes place. Similarly providing farmers with very simple kits will allow them to build platforms to protect their seed and grain above the flood waters.”
10. Wide shot, presser
STORYLINE
The United Nations Monday (31 Aug) released results of the latest Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia, indicating that the country’s humanitarian situation remains highly alarming.

Results of the report indicate that a total of 855,000 people in Somalia today face food crisis or emergency, and are critically in need of food and nutrition assistance having increased from 731,000 six months ago, and reflecting a 17 percent increase.

The report also shows that 2.3 million people are food-stressed. The deterioration is due in part to the early end of the rainy season that led to below-average cereal production, as well as continuing insecurity in many areas. A total of 3.1 million people now require humanitarian assistance. Among those facing food crisis or emergency, the majority are internally displaced persons (IDPs). The findings further indicate that nearly 215,000 children aged under five are acutely malnourished, of whom almost 40,000 are severely malnourished and face a high risk of disease and death.

Peter de Clercq, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia (DSRSG), who is also the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, described the humanitarian situation in the country as very fragile. While addressing journalists at the United Nations offices in Mogadishu, he said, “The outlook is also not giving us cause for optimism. Malnutrition continues to be pervasive and the situation is currently getting worse. Malnutrition rates in fact are going to increase before the end of the year due to below-average cereal production and poor rainfall in sub-pastoral and agro-pastoral areas”.

De Clercq added that despite the challenges, sustained humanitarian action has had a positive impact on the lives of millions of Somalis by improving their livelihoods, provision of food assistance, treating acute malnutrition in children below five years of age, extending basic health services, provision of safe drinking water, as well as hygiene promotion.

He also said, “My most important message today will be that while saving lives and livelihoods continues to be very important, we must simultaneously also address underlying causes. Most of the underlying causes of Somalia’s protracted crisis remain unresolved. The sobering reality is that any shock could plunge Somalia into another devastating emergency. We therefore need to ensure that the critical vulnerability levels are brought down and that we reduce the risk of having far too many people slide back into crisis.”

Richard Trenchard, the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Somalia warned of flooding in the coming months due to the El Niño phenomenon likely to severely affect Somalia in the coming months. Trenchard however added that measures are underway to mitigate the risk of food insecurity and famine caused by loss of livestock and crops for farmers.

Trenchard also said, “There is a lot of work starting now in terms of preparedness. And let me focus particularly on preparedness that has been done to support farmers and livestock owners. There are two major things we can do. One is to minimize the extent of flooding; there is a lot of work going on now particularly in the Shabelle area along the Shabelle River to reinforce river banks, et cetera, to put sandbags along the river. That will just reduce the amount of flooding that takes place. Similarly, providing farmers with very simple kits will allow them to build platforms to protect their seed and grain above the flood waters.”

The periodic assessment is conducted twice a year by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) for Somalia, managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with various technical partners and governments.
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