In its weekly meeting, Somaliland’s cabinet meeting chaired by the President of the Republic of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi stated that the local and parliamentary elections slated to take place on May 31, 2021, will not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing draughts affects parts of the country.

The confirmation that elections will not be delayed was among other points discussed in today’s cabinet meeting that includes emergency water distribution to drought-affected communities and efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement released by the Presidency following the cabinet meeting, so far 17,000 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine and, on Sunday, a national conference that will be will be convened. The statement adds that the purpose of the conference which will be attended by the business community is to discuss ways to raise funds to purchase additional COVID-19 vaccines. Somaliland has received 65,000 single doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX.

Besides looking to raise funds to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, the statement from the Presidency stated that Somaliland’s friends, presumably countries with whom Somaliland maintains diplomatic ties, have promised to donate COVID-19 vaccines.

There is no clear deployment plan for the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the most vulnerable members of the society and frontline health workers are getting vaccinated. Somaliland government was criticized for administering the vaccine to seemingly young and healthy government officials.

Although the government of Somaliland seems to acknowledge the sharp rise of infection of COVID-19 and the dangers of the second wave of the pandemic, the Ministry of Health Development is reporting a low single-digit death rate despite reports to the contrary. It is unclear what is causing the disparity between the Ministry’s COVID-19 death rate and the sharp rise in funerals around Somaliland.

As part of the government’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Somaliland, the cabinet stated that the Independence Day festivities on 18th May will be canceled and all resources including funding will be reallocated to drought and COVID-19 related activities.

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