Communiqué Following the High-Level Roundtable Meeting Held in Mogadishu on the Drought Response in Somalia

28 Feb 2017

Communiqué Following the High-Level Roundtable Meeting Held in Mogadishu on the Drought Response in Somalia

1. Under the patronage of His Excellency President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
“Farmaajo”, and in line with the Mogadishu Declaration of 22 February 2017, 31
delegations and representatives of civil society, the private sector, and each of the Federal
Member States, convened in Mogadishu to address the suffering currently facing more
than six million Somalis because of the severe drought, and to agree on actions to prevent
another famine in Somalia.

2. We welcome the leadership of President Farmaajo in declaring a national disaster, and
offer our full support in alleviating suffering and preventing the situation from
deteriorating further.

3. We acknowledge the significant progress made in Somalia over the past five years and
the risk the current drought poses to the gains made. We recognise the particular impact
the drought has on women, children and disabled persons. Thus, we pledge to maintain
the drought as our first priority and recognise the urgent need to do what we can to save
lives.

4. We draw on lessons from the devastating famine of 2011-12, and commit to taking all
necessary action to avoid the mistakes made then, and to improve on our collective
response.

5. The scale of the crisis and its impact on millions of lives, as well as on regional stability
and long-term socio-economic growth, require unity of purpose and action. In this
moment of national and international solidarity, everyone can contribute to the response.

6. The responsibility to act concerns all actors: the Federal Government, the Federal
Member States, local elders and leaders, communities of faith, civil society, the private
sector, the media, the Somali diaspora, and international partners, including the African
Union, donors and neighbouring countries.

7. We commit to developing a pragmatic mix of short-term emergency interventions to
prevent famine, and sustainable, durable solutions that will allow Somalia to move
beyond annual crisis response to building resilience at the individual and national levels.

8. As part of a collective call to action, several concrete measures should be considered and
implemented immediately. These should include, inter alia: the removal of all
impediments to the delivery of assistance, including on imports and exports of foodstuffs
and critical supplies, as well as on remittances; the temporary suspension of new
bureaucratic requirements at the sub-federal level on aid providers; the provision of
security; increased logistical support for access, and the rehabilitation of vital
infrastructure.

9. Additional measures should also address the adjustment, where possible, of existing
programmes and projects to benefit drought-affected populations; the generation and
sharing of accurate information and data to support the response; a substantial increase in
individual, corporate, UN, donor and diaspora financial contributions; and the meaningful
and constructive participation in established coordination structures.

10. To this effect, we agree to strengthen the role of the National Drought Response
Committee and their counterparts at state level to engage all actors across all sectors of
Somali society to contribute toward the ongoing drought response and prevention of
famine. We also encourage support to, and participation in state-level Drought Response
Committees, and call for effective and harmonious links between state and federal
coordination mechanisms.

11. We stress, in particular, the role of international and national NGOs, and UN agencies, in
providing life-saving assistance and livelihood support to populations in need; the
responsibility of independent media as an active watchdog, and in providing regular and
transparent updates on the drought and its response to both the international community
and the Federal Government of Somalia through the National Drought Response
Committee; the role of the private sector in supporting the delivery of supplies, in
restoring effective markets and in reaching the most vulnerable; and the importance of the
Somali Diaspora, whom we urge to increase remittances to Somalia and to support the
drought response both in Somalia and abroad.

12. We welcome the establishment by the Federal Government of Somalia of special
accounts in the Central Bank of Somalia and six commercial banks to receive donations
from concerned citizens and friends of Somalia. These accounts will be independently
audited at six-month intervals and public statements posted on the Ministry of Finance
website (or NDRC) to ensure public access to information about how money has been
allocated and spent.

13. Because a call to action is designed to create an enabling environment for the safe and
rapid delivery of vital assistance, including through the removal of roadblocks, the
harmonization of legal frameworks and appropriate regulations for the unimpeded import
of assistance, we declare non-tolerance to diversion of assistance and pledge to take firm
action against anyone engaging in such misconduct. Such action will cover all forms of
diversion and manipulation of the response, including private profiteering.

14. We ask the National Drought Response Committee to immediately guide, with all
interested stakeholders, the further identification of concrete responses, establish
appropriate and simple monitoring and mutual accountability procedures, and implement
all required actions to support safe and anonymous reporting of impropriety in the
drought response.

15. Finally, in line with the Mogadishu Declaration, we agree to increase intra-regional
cooperation, in order to address the immediate crisis as well as to design long-term food
security strategies and investments in the region’s resilience to humanitarian shocks and
climate change. Only through urgent, collective and sustained action will we meet today’s
urgent challenge and build a more prosperous and safe environment for future generations
in Somalia and its neighbours.