Somalia - The 16th of January 2018 marks an important day for the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, and in particular for its Permanent Secretary Mohamed Moalim. He and his team, in consultation with a number of line ministries, have been working for months towards developing a National Disaster Management Policy for strengthened national capacities in disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. The seeds of this hard labor have finally borne fruit and the Policy was officially launched in Mogadishu on the 16th of January 2018.
Mohamed Moalim is a participant of the Swedish Government funded Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) Program, managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Somalia. Having been deployed as a diaspora expert in various assignments, he has provided capacity building and technical skills support to the Government of Somalia, particularly in the realm of humanitarian response.
Returning to Somalia Remained a Distant Dream
In 1997, at the age of sixteen, Mohamed Moalim left Somalia for the UK. Leaving behind his family was no easy agony to bear, but they aspired to a better future for him than what Somalia had to offer at the time. Some of his family members later joined him in the UK.
Surprising himself – having always been the rebel kid of the family – Mohamed Moalim did very well in the UK. He studied economics and business, not so much as a matter of passion, but rather as what he felt was a responsible course for a young man to take. His dreams however kept pulling him in a different direction. Driven by his desire to contribute to humanity, he started to volunteer for a charity organization, UK Refugee Action, in resettlement support of newly arrived Somalis in the UK. This realm of work soon took sway over him and next thing he knew he was working for the local government on resettlement programs for newly arrived immigrants from across the globe.
During all these years, Somalia had remained a gloomy image at the back of his mind, but as the years spun by, his home country began taking a stronger hold on him. ‘Suddenly I found myself constantly thinking about Somalia,’ he recalls. There was no escaping the fact that he wanted to go back to contribute to the development of his home country.
The perfect opportunity arose in 2012. The MIDA program offered him a position with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), profiling IDPs. This was in the immediate wake of the 2011 famine, and he knew this was his call. Leaving behind the comfortable and secure confines of his life in the UK was, however, no easy decision to take. ‘It was in fact the most difficult one I have ever made in my life,’ he acknowledges.