Hargeisa market fire: Somaliland appeals for humanitarian support

Somaliland has launched a combined USS2 billion to urgently deliver humanitarian and livelihood support to an estimated 5,000 small, medium, and large family businesses.

Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi Wednesday signed an appeal, with an emergency of high-level magnitude, to the international community and friends of Somaliland for help on Hargeisa Market Fire.

On 1st April, 2022, an immense fire engulfed the entire market and rendered it into oblivion.

In a statement from the office of the president of Somaliland, the human causalities consisted 27 burned individuals and no deaths reported.

”This unprecedented fire disaster affected every family in Hargeisa, directly or indirectly, and thus the economic and psychological impacts of the affected populations is undoubtedly enormous.” Said President Bihi.

The Waaheen market has been rated as one of the most economically vibrant trading centers in Somaliland and has been the seat of all financial exchange transactions in the region.

It serves the entire country of Somaliland and most of the neighboring countries.

The disaster has triggered an immediate and steep rise of commodity prices and has worsened the already prevailing globally triggered inflation.

“We need to ramp up our response now to mitigate and protect the lives of the most vulnerable populations; mostly of women and children. We must respond with compassion and solidarity collectively, including a) the donors, b) the private sector c) the Government of Somaliland, d) the Somaliland diaspora and e) the international community.” Said the President.

According to the statement, the envisaged programme includes multipurpose cash assistance for the most vulnerable group of the affected population, food assistance,and shelter assistance to rehabilitate damaged buildings.

Additionally, the plan aims to deliver support to the municipal authorities to maintain and establish six (6) temporary locations for the affected population to carry on their businesses while the main market (Waaheen) is being re-built and re-introduced.

While welcoming the support from neighboring countries, President Bihi appealed for more assistance to avert a possible humanitarian crisis.

”While we have seen tremendous solidarity from neighboring countries and beyond, and the local population, much more support will be needed to assist and prevent any humanitarian disaster. Together and united, we could redress alleviating the suffering of this population.” Noted the President.

Adding that: ”This is an emergency of a high-level magnitude and time is of essence. We are appealing for all the international communities and friends of Somaliland to effect an immediate resource mobilization supplemented by technical expertise as deemed essential.”

He has designated a high level national committee at the ministerial level augmented by the mayor of Hargeisa, the Governor of the Maroodi-jeeh region assisted by highly qualified emergency experts.

This in order to effectively coordinate all inputs (national and international), and to ensure a high level of accountability and transparency.

Further he said that an integrated plan for the envisaged humanitarian, rehabilitation and livelihood interventions will be molded comprehensively and it will be carried out in phases and based on a vulnerability criteria.

The Kenyan Government on Sunday conveyed its message of solidarity with Somaliland following a fire accident in a popular market in the country’s capital city.

In a statement, Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that it was with deep regret that it learned of the tragic accident at Waheen market in Hargeisa on the night of 1st April 2022.

“The Government and the people of Kenya stand in solidarity with the people of Somaliland and extend sympathies to the victims and families of the injured.” MFA said in a statement

The Ministry noted that Kenya and Somaliland share a common heritage and strong bonds of friendship.

Also read https://www.kbc.co.ke/kenya-expresses-solidarity-with-somaliland-following-devastating-inferno/


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