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Rep. Hussein, Community Members, and Former Minister Raise Alarm over Catastrophic Flooding in Somalia

Monday, December 11, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, Representative Samakab Hussein (DFL-Saint Paul) joined members of Minnesota’s Somali community in a press conference expressing grave concern for the health and safety of friends and family members in their home country.  

Representative Hussein released the following statement: 

“Since October 2023, Somalia has been ravaged by devastating floods, leaving over two million people to fend for their survival. A staggering 750,000 are now displaced, and nearly 100 have tragically lost their lives. This humanitarian crisis demands immediate and unfettered action. Lives are at stake, and every delay or restriction can have devastating consequences. 

As Minnesotans, we understand the power of collective action and the responsibility we have for our neighbors, both near and far. We cannot turn a blind eye to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Somalia. I urge my global and state neighbors to join us in raising awareness of the destructive flooding and amplify our call for immediate, unrestricted humanitarian aid.”  

The United Nations reports that deadly torrential rains and floods have affected more than two million people in several areas of Somalia this year, with over 100 killed and 750,000 displaced from their homes. This crisis was preceded by years of catastrophic drought that resulted in widespread famine.   

“The recent heavy rains have wrought havoc across Somalia, affecting over 2.4 million people. More than a million individuals have been displaced, and we mourn the loss of 110 lives in at least 36 districts,” Mohamed Abdirizak, Member of the Advisory Group, UN Center for Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Somalia. The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia is critically underfunded, with only 42% of the required US $2.6 billion received. The Somali people need our unified support more than ever. Together, we can make a significant difference in addressing this crisis and building a more resilient future for Somalia.”

Beyond immediate assistance, the Somali people require long-term support for recovery and reconstruction. This includes investments in infrastructure repair, agricultural rehabilitation, and climate change adaptation strategies to build resilience against future disasters. Addressing the root causes of both drought and floods, including climate change and environmental degradation, is crucial for a sustainable future.

“In times of crisis, our humanity shines brightest when we extend a helping hand to those in need. As a city and state with a vibrant Somali community and strong ties to the global family, we feel the impact of this tragedy," said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. "The devastating floods in Somalia demand immediate solidarity and support. I urge our residents, local businesses, and organizations to unite in supporting humanitarian aid efforts. Each contribution, regardless of size, holds the power to alleviate the suffering of those affected."