Citing insurance concerns, UN temporarily pulls staff from Somalia

Citing insurance concerns, UN temporarily pulls staff from Somalia

The United Nations today announced a temporary pull-out of all its international personnel from Somalia, citing the withdrawal of war risks coverage by the insurance company that covers UN flights.

The lapse of the appropriate war-risk coverage for UN flights was a result of the enormous insurance claims arising from the attacks in the United States two weeks ago, the UN Country Team in Somalia said in a press release. The Team said it would renegotiate its insurance policy with the underwriters and hoped to resume UN flights as soon as possible.

Some 54 international staff will be flown to Nairobi before the insurance coverage expires at midnight Monday. The UN system employs some 560 national staff in Somalia and they will be continuing programme operations to ensure maximum provision of services during this period.

"I would like to stress that this decision has nothing to do with the security situation in Somalia, which remains stable and unchanged," said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Randolph Kent. "My colleagues within the UN Country Team and I remain determined that humanitarian and development programmes will continue during this time."