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Somalia: MSF helps address protracted humanitarian crisis in Baidoa

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Somalia: MSF helps address protracted humanitarian crisis in Baidoa

By Abdulkareem Yakubu

“Baidoa has been a place where MSF worked for a long time. Today it is struggling with a large number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). There are about 1.1 million people in Baidoa and its surroundings. Of those, nearly 740,000 are IDPs and the conditions they are struggling with are profound”, said Dr Tammam Aloudat, president of MSF in the Netherlands.
Today an estimated four million people, or one in five of the population of Somalia, face emergency food insecurity, 3.8 million people are displaced from their homes, and 1.7 million children under five are acutely malnourished. The protracted humanitarian crisis behind these shocking figures is a result of ongoing conflict, climate-related disasters such as floods and droughts, recurrent outbreaks of infectious diseases and high levels of poverty.
In 2023, Somalia’s second city, Baidoa, suffered extreme climatic conditions, including the worst drought in 40 years and floods related to El-Niño – a climate phenomenon associated with extreme weather events. Baidoa large numbers of displaced people – around 740,000 of the city’s one million inhabitants have been displaced from elsewhere in the country – and continues to receive new arrivals, with more than 27,049 displaced people arriving in Baidoa already this year. This has put a massive strain on the city’s already limited resources, particularly on water and sanitation services. As the rainy season approaches, the risks increase of outbreaks of waterborne diseases, including cholera outbreaks.
When they fall sick or need medical care, many displaced people in Baidoa struggle to reach a health facility. “My sister was having labour pains but I could not take her to hospital to get medical care,” says a 23-year-old woman living in a camp in Baidoa. “Our biggest challenges are travelling on roads made impassable by flooding and insecurity as well as the high cost of transport. We need better access to hospital through ambulance services and good roads.”
Maternal and infant mortality rates in Somalia are among the highest in the world, largely due to people’s limited access to medical care, exacerbated by droughts, floods and heightened conflict. Displaced women and children living in camps are particularly at risk. With only two hospitals in Baidoa catering to the growing number of displaced people, there is an urgent need to strengthen primary health services to enable pregnant women to access essential care, reduce late referrals and encourage women to give birth in medical facilities rather than in potentially unsafe conditions in their homes or shelters.
MSF has been supporting Bay regional hospital in Baidoa since May 2018 to address the healthcare needs of women and children, reduce infant and paediatric mortality, and prepare for potential disease outbreaks. MSF teams provide a range of medical services to mothers and children in the hospital as well as through community-based clinics and through vaccination campaigns targeting pregnant women and newborn babies.
“We are making our services more efficient by building semi-permanent structures in seven outreach locations, where we are providing basic antenatal care, treatment for diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections and malaria, health promotion activities and referrals,” says MSF head of programmes Dr Pitchou Kayembe.
 
It is not only in Baidoa that health services are struggling. The humanitarian crisis and the rising numbers of displaced people are putting pressure countrywide on healthcare providers, including aid organisations. As well as increased patient numbers and growing costs, the provision of medical and humanitarian aid has been disrupted by insecurity.
“We urge all humanitarian organisations in Baidoa to work in a coordinated manner to address the unmet needs of displaced people in terms of food, shelter, clean water and access to healthcare, and to invest more in strengthening capacity to respond ahead of the upcoming rainy season,” adds Dr Kayembe.
According to UN-OCHA, 6.9 million people in Somalia need humanitarian assistance in 2024, including 5.2 million targeted for aid. The humanitarian response plan necessitates $1.6 billion in funding, currently experiencing a funding gap of $1.4 billion. The few humanitarian organisations in Southwest state of Somalia that are addressing the needs of displaced people lack funding and require better coordination to optimise the available resources.
Despite cuts in humanitarian funding observed in Somalia, MSF remains committed to continuing its work in Somalia, with a focus on Southwest state, which has just one referral hospital and two general hospitals for the entire region.  
“We are seeing lots of media coverage about emergencies like Gaza, Sudan and Ukraine, all of which are catastrophic and require humanitarian assistance and attention, but that must not come at the cost of less visible emergencies or continued protracted crises such as that in Somalia,” concluded the President of MSF- Netherlands, Dr Tammam Aloudat.
ENDS
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organisation dedicated to providing medical assistance to populations in distress, including victims of natural and manmade disasters and armed conflict. For more than four decades, MSF has helped address the humanitarian and health needs of Somali communities. In 2023, MSF teams worked in Hargeisa, Sool, Galkacyo North, Galkacyo South, Baidoa and Dhobley, treating more than 2,000 children for malnutrition, 15,635 patients for acute watery diarrhoea and providing 204,531 outpatient consultations. Currently, MSF teams are actively engaged in responding to health needs in Galkacyo North, Galkacyo South and Baidoa.
 Abdulkareem Yakubu, is the Field Communication Officer at MSF and could be reached on:
Email: comms-officer@somalia.msf.org
Phone: +254 702 069 958

Somalia: MSF helps address protracted humanitarian crisis in Baidoa

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

By: Yahaya Wakili

Gadodomasun Fika Emirate Council in Yobe State, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, has appealed to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene in the construction of the Potiskum modern market.

“I will not forget the first tenure of His Excellency. During his campaign, we went round all of Yobe State, rural and urban, and he made promises to the people of Potiskum town, a modern market, because Potiskum is a center of commercial business in Yobe State. And by the grace of God, His Excellency has fulfilled his campaign promises.

Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, who is also the former chairman of the NARTO Potiskum local government chapter, made the call in Potiskum while speaking to Newsmen on the one year of the second tenure of His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON.

Abdullahi Garba Alele further said that His Excellency Governor Buni laid the foundation stone for the construction of modern markets in Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu’a, Nguru, Geidam, and Buni Yadi, and by the grace of God, all these modern markets have been completed and commissioning, and people have occupied them and businesses have raked off inside.

“But our own for Potiskum town, which has the longest history in business with a high population of people, businessmen, and farmers, but up to now this modern market has not been completed, the work has stopped as a result of what we don’t know, the contractor has abandoned the work. Therefore, we use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene and call on contractors to resume work on site.” Alele said.

The former NARTO chairman said that in the history of Potiskum, God blessed Potiskum with transports, because in the 774 local government councils that we have in the country, there is no local government that has transporters like Potiskum. We thank God, and we thank His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni for considering this thing critically. He constructed us a trailer park in Potiskum, and we thank him a lot.

“But I am assured to His Excellency that this project has stopped. Therefore, we appeal to His Excellency to intervene in this matter to complete these two projects before the end of his three years in office, so that people can benefit from this development. He prayed to Almighty Allah, and as His Excellency completed his five years successfully, we also prayed to Almighty Allah to guide and help him complete the remaining three years successfully.

Gadodomasun also commands His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika, and Chairman Yobe State Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Idrissa CFR, in his efforts to unite the people and the traditional rulers in Yobe State, and also prays to Almighty Allah (SWT) to give him health. He also prays to Almighty Allah to long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, long live Yobe State, and long live Potiskum local government.

Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, and President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Yobe North Senatorial District, has today met with the Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Matawalle, MON, and his team to discuss the implementation of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act 2023.

In a statement issued and signed by him on his official page, which was made available to newsmen in Damaturu,.

The DICON Act, which was signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in November 2023, is a major step towards enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces to produce their own equipment and reduce dependence on imports.

During the meeting, the minister of state for defense briefed me on the progress made so far on the implementation of the DICON Act.

“I commended the minister, members of his team, and other stakeholders present for the swift action taken to implement the DICON Act. I emphasized the urgent need to make DICON a catalyst for the industrialization of the defense sector in Nigeria.

The President of the 9th Senate pledged that the Senate Committee on Defense, which I chair, will continue to provide legislative support and oversight to ensure the successful implementation of the DICON Act. We believe that a vibrant and self-sustaining defense industry is essential for the security and prosperity of our nation.

Senator Ahmed Lawan also seized the opportunity to inform the minister and his team that the Senate Committee on Defense will embark on a familiarization tour of the ministry next week.

He urged the minister to leverage the expertise of Nigerian engineers, scientists, and manufacturers in the development of indigenous weapons and equipment. This will not only boost our national pride but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

The DICON Act has the potential to transform the defense sector in Nigeria. By working together—the Senate, the Ministry of Defense, and other stakeholders—we can make this transformation a reality.

Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

By: Michael Mike

A delegation, to be led by a representative of the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, leaders of the Nigerian Students Union in UK, will visit the Management of Teesside University to intervene on the allegations of unfair and unjust deportation order served on some Nigerian students, in the middle of their studies .

The decision was taken at the end of a virtual meeting held between Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Representative of the Nigerian High Commission UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, President, Nigerian Students Union UK, Mr Yemi Soile, and many of the affected students at the meeting on Sunday.

The affected students passionately narrated their ordeal and were optimistic of a positive intervention.

During the meeting , Chairman NIDCOM appealed to the students to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands while appealing to the University to treat the students with justice and fairness. Ambassador Okeke spoke in the same vein.

On May 22, some students of Teesside University from Nigeria staged a protest following the directives by the University authorities for them to leave UK on the allegations that some of the students defaulted in paying their school fees.

FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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