Thursday February 1, 2024
MOGADISHU (Xinhua) — Six aid workers lost their lives, while 18 others sustained injuries in Somalia in 2023, the United Nations humanitarian agency has aid.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released its annual humanitarian access report Sunday evening, in which it said that 2023 underscored the challenges faced by humanitarian aid workers in operating safely within the current context.
According to the OCHA, instances of violence against humanitarian personnel, assets and facilities increased compared to the previous year, with 47 incidents reported in 2023 compared to 37 in 2022.
“All other categories of access constraints experienced an increase in incidents during 2023, indicating a deteriorating access environment,” the OCHA said in the report released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The report noted that humanitarian access remained challenging throughout 2023, with a total of 376 access incidents reported in Somalia. While this represents a significant decrease compared to 656 incidents in 2022, the report attributed this decline to a significant drop in military operations and ongoing hostilities impeding humanitarian operations — 27 reported in 2023 versus 515 in 2022.
The top constraint, accounting for 24 percent, was related to the physical environment. The OCHA said that most of the 86 incidents were directly attributed to flooding at the end of the year, significantly impacting the ability of humanitarian aid workers to access locations and disrupting activities.
Interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities accounted for 23 percent of reported constraints, often leading to the suspension of activities and programs, according to the OCHA.
Restrictions on the movement of personnel or goods continued to be recorded as one of the top three access constraints affecting humanitarian operations, with 74 recorded incidents, a 42 percent increase compared to 2022, the report said.
“Overall, bureaucratic hurdles, security concerns, and flooding heavily impacted the ability of humanitarian partners to move around and access significant parts of the country, with critical missions often postponed or canceled, necessitating the implementation of alternative modalities of delivery,” the OCHA concluded. ■