DJIBOUTI, LE 14 AOUT 2011: As part of the crisis due to drought and conflict in Somalia that plague the Horn of Africa, Mr. John Ging, Director of the Division for the Coordination and Response, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is on official duty in Djibouti.
The purpose of the mission of Mr. Ging in the countries of the region is to assess first hand the humanitarian impact of the drought and to identify gaps in humanitarian response and coordination of the response, to enhance the mobilization of the necessary support to affected countries.
Arrival in Djibouti today, after meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Mr. Ging was granted an audience to the Presidency by the President of the Republic of Djibouti, Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh , accompanied by Mrs. Josefa Marrato, Acting Resident Coordinator of UN System in Dijbouti.
During the meeting, stakeholders discussed the humanitarian situation regionally and nationally, and ways and means to strengthen resource mobilization to meet the immediate needs of those most vulnerable.
In particular, Mr. Ging has expressed his high regard for the leadership shown by President of the Republic in the humanitarian response, and humanity and generosity of the Government and people of Djibouti to help their brothers and sisters through Solidarity actions, including Somali refugees. On the other hand, Mr. Ging thanked the Government of the excellent relations it has with the United Nations system, and recalled the disposal of the latter to help the country achieve its immediate and long terms, including among others by supporting the strengthening of coordination structures.
More than 120,000 people in rural areas in Djibouti are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in the areas of food, nutrition, health, water and sanitation, and livelihoods of base. In addition, some refugees are being sheltered 17.000 refugee camp, plus around 800 new arrivals every month.
However, only half of the 33 million USD required to respond adequately to the humanitarian needs in Djibouti, in the period from November 2010 to October 2011, have been mobilized so far, as part of the Humanitarian Appeal on drought in Djibouti. Given this lack of funding, the Central Fund for emergency interventions (CERF), administered by OCHA, last week awarded a grant of 3.1 million USD to humanitarian projects in Djibouti.
Before leaving Djibouti August 16, 2011, Mr. Ging will move in a therapeutic feeding center in Balbala, and refugee camp of Ali Addeh. He will also meet senior government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.
Apart from Djibouti, Mr. Ging visited Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, as part of his regional tour in the Horn of Africa.