November 05, 2020
INTERSOS announced today its decision to close its Somalia mission, after 28 years of operations in the Horn of Africa country.
File – Director General Kostas Moschochoritis | Photo: Via Linkedin
“We have taken this decision with a heavy heart and after much internal discussion,” INTERSOS Director General Kostas Moschochoritis said. “We value the history of our relationships with the people of Somalia and the service we have provided through years of humanitarian collaboration.”
The decision to close the mission follows the discovery by our internal oversight mechanisms of fraudulent financial activity. Given the complexity of the Somali operational environment, we determined that addressing the fraud would have posed a major risk for our staff and the communities we serve. It is those concerns about safety and security that are driving the decision to close the mission. INTERSOS remains deeply concerned about the needs of the people and communities we have served for more than 28 years. We are in discussions to identify options for the possible handover of ongoing activities to minimize the gaps in services for vulnerable Somali populations.
In coming weeks, INTERSOS will be working persistently to support its teams and do everything it can to guarantee the smoothest end of our operations as possible, for the more than 200 staff that have been part of the Somali mission. INTERSOS remains steadfast in its commitment to humanitarian principles and accountability to the people it serves. Although we have had to make a difficult decision to close our Somalia programmes, we are proud of our legacy of life-saving humanitarian support to communities where we have worked, even during the most difficult times.
We appreciate the enduring and mutually respectful relationships we have enjoyed in Somalia. We remain confident that we will be able to hand over our activities and maintain vital support to communities in need. Since the start of its work in Somalia in 1992, INTERSOS has assisted populations in need across the country, in regions including: Somaliland, Puntland, Mudug, Hiiraan, Bay, Middle Shabelle and Gedo. Over 28 years, hundreds of thousands of people including IDPs and returnees have received our support in health, WASH, education, protection, food security and other basic relief items in response to humanitarian needs. Our continuous support to the regional hospital in Jowhar began in 1994, providing key health services to 250,000 people in surrounding areas.