UN officials, QRC discuss key issues

Al-Mohannadi (second left) in discussion with the UN delegation yesterday in Doha.

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A high-profile delegation from the United Nations visited the Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) headquarters yesterday to enhance co-operation and discuss issues of common interest.
The delegation comprised Nicholas Kay, special representative of the secretary-general in the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, and Noboru Fernandes de Abreu, special assistant to the deputy special representative of the secretary-general for Somalia.
The guests were received by Saleh bin Ali al-Mohannadi, QRC secretary-general, Hamad al-Fayyad, QRC communications adviser, and Izedeen Elglal, head of the Africa Office, Relief and International Development Department.
Al-Mohannadi welcomed the guests and reviewed QRC’s relief and development interventions in Somalia, both on its own and in tandem with the Qatari Charitable Alliance for Solidarity with the Somali People, lately culminating with an MoU with its Somali counterpart as a legal framework to execute its humanitarian projects throughout Somalia.
The talks also covered the situation in Somalia, which, according to Kay, has largely improved in terms of security, economy, healthcare, education and new jobs, thanks to the close co-operation between Somali authorities, the Qatari government and different UN agencies such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Al-Mohannadi emphasised the importance of enabling the local communities to return home and establishing productive projects for them, especially with the better situation in the capital, Mogadishu, and the restoration of normal life.
QRC, he noted, has implemented dozens of relief and development projects  through its permanent office in Somalia, the latest of which was opening a new health centre in Awdheegle district, Lower Shebelle, in partnership with Qatar Charity. The QR280,000 health facility would serve the district’s 30,000 population as well as neighbouring towns.
The UN envoy commended the great efforts of humanitarian organisations that work in Somalia, particularly with regard to building schools, employing more teachers, collecting garbage, rehabilitating hospitals and launching vaccination campaigns.
Refugee conditions are still difficult, however, and there is a dire need to rebuild and rehabilitate the infrastructure, mainly roads, to bridge the gap between the status quo and the desired situation.
Al-Mohannadi said despite its current conditions, Somalia has begun to be more resilient, which helps push the early recovery projects done there for years now.
QRC regularly sends official delegations to Somalia to ensure effective co-ordination with the humanitarian players there and supervise on-the-ground projects for Somalis affected by insecurity and unstable weather conditions.

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