UN Children's Fund resumes programme in north-east Somalia

15 June 2005

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today said it was resuming its programme in north-east Somalia, a semi-autonomous area known as Puntland, after talks with the territory's President in nearby Kenya during which they re-affirmed their commitment to working together.

The agency's Jesper Morch had announced in Nairobi, Kenya, in late May that UNICEF had had differences with President Mohamud Muse Hirsi "Adde" over the handling of death threats against a UNICEF staff member and was suspending its programmes, having been left "vulnerable, at risk and without further recourse to protection and arbitration."

Today the two sides said, "Puntland and UNICEF have put their differences behind them and join hands in a shared strong commitment to renewed action for Puntland's children and vulnerable groups.''

"In so doing, the Puntland authorities and UNICEF Somalia build on years of concerted action to improve the situation of children in the fields of health and nutrition; education; water and environmental sanitation; child protection; youth development; and HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support," they said.

Mr. Morch reaffirmed UNICEF's respect and appreciation for the strong personal commitment of the President of Puntland to the wellbeing and welfare of children.

Mr. Hirsi said, "The noble mission of UNICEF and services rendered to the Somali people in Puntland are fundamental and of paramount importance. This is acknowledged by all."


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