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Somalia: S Leone to withdraw Somalia troops over Ebola

9 hours 31 min ago
Source: Al Jazeera Country: Sierra Leone, Somalia

African Union blocks troops rotation over Ebola fears, forcing Sierra Leone to withdraw its 850 soldiers from Somalia.

Sierra Leone is withdrawing its troops from Somalia after the African Union blocked the West African country from rotating its soldiers over fears for the Ebola virus.

Sierra Leone sent 850 troops to Somalia for a 12-month deployment to fight the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, in Somalia in 2013.

Their rotation was delayed after a group of 800 soldiers, who were waiting to replace their comrades in Somalia, were quarantined after one of the soldiers was tested positive for Ebola.

read the full story here

Yemen: Mixed Migration in the Horn of Africa

20 December 2014 - 11:06pm
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen

By. T. Craig Murphy, IOM Kenya, with Ismael Ali, IOM Bosasso

The closest geographic point from Africa to the Arabian Peninsula is a strait connecting the Gulf of Aden with the Red Sea known as “Bab-el-Mandeb”, which in Arabic means “The Gateway of Anguish.” Legend says that the name derives from the dangerous maritime navigation and the many lives claimed by the sea. At this point, it is only 30 kilometres from Djibouti to Yemen. Historically and contemporarily, this is the location from where large numbers of migrants move out of Africa for a variety of reasons.

Today, most of the migrants plying this route are from Ethiopia and Somalia, but other nationalities from the Horn of Africa compose these mixed migratory flows. A variety of factors – including security, legislation affecting migrant workers, difficulty or ease of crossing borders, viability of other irregular migratory routes, and weather – impact the migrant flows from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and other Gulf Coast Countries.

Graph 1 shows a summary of registered migrants and deaths at sea from 2011 to end of November 2014:

These two data sets - registered arrivals and deaths at sea – are good indicators for the current situation of mixed migration flows from the Horn of Africa to Yemen. Analysis shows that the protection gaps and reports of mistreatment / abuse by smugglers and traffickers, as well as by government officials, persists – and in many cases have worsened.

In some locations across the Horn of Africa, there are “cultures of migration.” In such cultures, it is expected that the most able-bodied son or daughter should go abroad to earn money to support the extended family back home. This makes up a key profile of mixed migration flows – known as ‘economic migrants.’ This category of migrants voluntarily chooses to migrate, but this decision does not preclude them from the well-documented hardships and abuse that migrants experience along the way or at their final destination. Some migrants who depart through the services of a smuggler, find their situation changes and they become trafficked, by being deceived and kept in a state of exploitation. Refugees and asylum-seekers who are crossing borders to flee persecution are also included in mixed migration flows from the Horn of Africa. Though the motivation for leaving is varied and the intentions at the final destination are different, the diverse categorizations of migrants all face extreme vulnerability when migrating irregularly.

The International Organization for Migration has been responding to this migration crisis since 2009, through the implementation of a regional mixed migration programme. The strategy of the programme is to directly assist migrants, support governmental dialogue, provide awareness-raising materials to potential migrants, and foster coordination through the Mixed Migration Task Forces. As part of the direct assistance to migrants component of the programme, IOM works closely with governments across the region to support a series of Migration Response Centers (MRCs) in strategic locations along migration corridors. Currently, Migration Response Centers are operational in Metema and Mille, Ethiopia; Obock, Djibouti; Hargeisa, Somaliland; Bosaso, Puntland; and Haradh, Yemen. These MRCs allow for registration of migrants, referral for appropriate services (such as medical care), distribution of food and non-food items, and organization of Assisted Voluntary Return and Re-integration Operations.

In November of 2014, the Migration Response Center in Bosaso registered a 28-year-old Kenyan migrant named “Yusuf”[1]. Yusuf had returned to Somalia from Yemen by crossing the Gulf of Aden by boat. He was intending to return to his home in Mombasa, Kenya after spending four difficult years in Yemen as a migrant worker. Without valid documentation, he was detained by Somali authorities at the Bosaso port. Yusuf did not have the resources to continue on his journey and was not released until the authorities confirmed he had the means to reach Kenya by air. IOM offices in Somalia and Kenya helped Yusuf to return home to Kenya on 14 December.

As a Kenyan national, Yusuf is a much less represented nationality within the overall mixed migration flows. He left for Yemen from Mombasa by plane in 2010 in the hopes of finding a job. Yusuf never gained any sort of secure employment and only survived by washing cars. He says, “In Yemen I was jobless, and only received small money to cover the daily life.”

Yusuf goes on to describe the difficulties he faced as a migrant in Yemen as the political situation worsened in recent years. “When Yemen conflict started I was afraid to be killed, and there was no job even car washing. The life was difficult because I did not have any job there, and sometimes I used to be hungry for more than 2 days.”

Yusuf said that most migrants leaving the Horn of Africa for Yemen are “looking for jobs and better opportunity than in their country.” However, now, having been to Yemen and opting to return, he is aware of the risks and dangers for migrants, which he lists as: “death, harassment, detention, torture, and rape.”

Yusuf’s situation is not unique. His story is representative of the large mixed flows of tens of thousands of African migrants per year crossing the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden seeking a better life or reprieve from insecurity. With IOM assistance, Yusuf reached his home country of Kenya in a dignified and orderly way.

Upon arrival Yusuf stated, “I am very happy to arrive Kenya and thankful to IOM for helping me return home.” Others aren’t as fortunate. The statistics speak clearly. Thousands of migrants languish in vulnerable situations of detention or exploitation, unable to access the humanitarian services that IOM provides in the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

[1] His name has been changed to protect the confidentiality of the migrant

Somalia: IOM Builds Capacity of Bosaso Fisheries Community in Puntland

19 December 2014 - 9:58pm
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Somalia

Somalia - IOM, with support from Japan, and in collaboration with the regional authorities of Puntland, including the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Port Authority, has conducted its first ever training for the fishing community in Bosaso. The training aimed to help improve the livelihoods of people working in the sector and encourage economic diversification.

Located on the Somali coast, Bosaso is one of the main port cities in Puntland and has an active fishing community. But the sector remains under developed due to a lack of proper infrastructure and skills.

The coastal city is also an exit point that attracts migrants from many parts of Somalia and Ethiopia on their dangerous journey to the Gulf. It has also seen the arrival of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) from South Central Somalia over the past two decades, many of whom have become involved in the fishing industry.

Some 36 people from the host and IDP communities involved in the sector received training in fish processing, including fish handling, spoilage, preservation techniques, and the proper use of fishing gear. They were also trained in business management skills to help them to develop small businesses and generate income.

The fishing industry could become an important contributor to Bosaso’s economy. Many IDP families currently make a living by selling fish in the Bosaso fish market at the port or to local hotels and shops in the town. The sector also offers job opportunities for young people and women.

For more information, please contact

Abdirahman Mohamed
IOM Somalia
Tel +254 726 410 202
Email abdimohamed@iom.int

Somalia: The EU disburses 10.875 million EUR helping to accelerate socioeconomic recovery in Somalia

19 December 2014 - 7:53am
Source: European Union Country: Somalia

On 17 December 2014, the EU made its first payment of 10.875 million EUR to the World Bank managed Multi Partner Trust Fund for Somalia, contributing to collective efforts to improve the lives of all Somali citizens. This is part of an overall package of 60 MEUR planned to be committed by the end of 2015.

One year ago, Somalia and its partners signed the Somali Compact, agreeing, among other, to establish a new and simple financing architecture, which would help to streamline financing for country's reconstruction and development and facilitate government ownership and leadership. The World Bank Multi-Partner Fund (WB MPF) is one of the two specific funds, which were set up for this purpose. The EU is one of its key contributors, helping to strengthen the economic foundations, capacity of Somali institutions and improve business environment, especially for youth and women. This initial contribution of 10.875million EUR will mainly enable the financing of the emergency expenditure including the civil servant salaries.

Michele Cervone d'Urso, Head of the EU Delegation to the Federal Republic of Somalia, said: 'Socio economic recovery represents the foundation for sustainable peace. This is the EU priority. Multi Partner Fund, administered by the World Bank is key in progressing towards this goal. Multi Partner Fund concentrates concrete and actionable priorities and new flagship programs. Hard choices have been made by the government in selecting them. Now it is time for delivery. The EU stood by its word and aligned its own investments with the Government plans and preferred aid channels.'

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary December 18 - 25, 2014

19 December 2014 - 4:17am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Angola, Belize, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Abnormal dryness expected to continue in East and Southern Africa

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Although good rainfall was observed over the Greater Horn of Africa in late November and early December, the delayed onset of the October December rainy season, combined with an erratic distribution of rains during the season, has already negatively impacted ground conditions in northern Kenya and southern Somalia. As the season is coming to an end, a recovery is unlikely.

  2. Insufficient rainfall since the beginning of October has led to dryness and delayed planting throughout eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, western and central Mozambique, and southern Malawi. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast in western and northern Zambia during the next week, which should help alleviate dryness.

  3. Prolonged dry spells since October have resulted in large rainfall deficits and below-average vegetation conditions over parts of eastern Zambia, Malawi, western and northern Mozambique. Light to moderate rains are forecast in eastern Zambia and Malawi during the next week, which could sustain drought conditions.

  4. While much of South Africa has received adequate rains since the beginning of the Southern African monsoon, the northernmost and eastern parts of the country have received below-average rains, affecting regional agricultural conditions.

Moderate to heavy rains are forecast over the Limpopo province of South Africa during the next week, which should help reduce moisture deficits.

  1. Below-average rainfall since the start of the season has resulted in large moisture deficits and poor ground conditions in western Madagascar. Little to no rainfall is expected in western Madagascar this week, potentially worsening conditions.

Somalia: Operational Plan 2011-2016 DFID Somalia Updated December 2014

19 December 2014 - 2:33am
Source: Department for International Development Country: Somalia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Context

After two decades of conflict, Somalia is the one of the world’s most fragile states. It remains a base for extremists, and insurgent groups and clan conflicts still affect parts of the country. While Somalia is moving towards a federal structure, a full political settlement has not yet been reached, and development needs are immense. Now, for the first time in a generation there is a real opportunity to address these challenges, with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) two years into its mandate, and resources available through the New Deal to support improved security, stability and services. The challenges facing the FGS are great - not least, reaching a national political settlement including the formation of federal member states, providing security, and holding national elections in 2016.Over 22,000 AMISOM troops are deployed in South Central Somalia under a United Nations Security Council mandate. These continue to play a vital role, alongside the Somali National Army (SNA), in clearing and holding territories recovered from Al Shabaab. The medium-term goal is for security to be delivered by Somali security institutions, operating under the rule of law.

Kenya: ‘I now have a choice over my meals’ – DRC’s Fresh Food Voucher Programme in Dadaab

18 December 2014 - 7:56pm
Source: Danish Refugee Council Country: Kenya, Somalia

The introduction of a fresh food voucher program by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in Dadaab refugee camp, has enabled 3000 pregnant refugee women and lactating mothers to access a variety of fresh vegetables and meat from various vendors in the camp. The initiative has also led to the increase of the number of refugee women attending clinics.

The fresh food voucher initiative has brought a lot of benefits for the thousands of refugee women in Dagahaley refugee camp - where DRC has partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to pilot the initiative for the last one and a half year. Dagahaley is one of the five refugee camps that make up the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya which is the world's largest refugee camp. The whole project is funded by WFP.

"I am very happy with this voucher system, I can now get a variety of food stuff from the market which is important for me and my baby. I now have a choice over what meals I can cook for my baby especially with access to meat," says 33 year old Sadiya Hassan who has a three month old baby and is benefitting from the program for a second time.

The distribution of the food vouchers to the eligible pregnant and lactating mothers usually takes place at the various health posts within Dagahaley camp which is run by MSF. In this way, DRC is able to ensure that the refugee women are attending their regular medical check-ups and are sensitized on the benefits of attending them.

"I have seen many women now attending the clinics and this is good for the general health of the baby and the mother. The vouchers have been a great incentive for many of us to attend the clinics," says Fatuma Ibrahim who is 8 months pregnant with her fifth child.

So the initiative has also contributed to increasing attendance of the refugee women to the antenatal and prenatal clinics provided at the various health posts within the camps.

"Since we started the distribution of the food vouchers, the rate of infant mortality has greatly reduced within the camps. We are able to distribute the food vouchers immediately a refugee woman is confirmed to be expectant up to three months post-delivery of their baby," says Harrison Muema, DRC's Fresh Food Voucher Team Leader.

Once the refugee women have received the food vouchers, they normally visit different appointed vendors located throughout the camps and redeem their choice of vegetables or meat at their preferred grocery shop. The vendors usually receive the food vouchers and cash-in their respective values from WFP at a later date. WFP has appointed 60 vendors throughout the five camps where the refugee women can redeem their vouchers.

"This voucher system has enabled me to have a regular income. I am now able to take care of my seven children and to buy them the items they need for their school," says Fartun Muse who owns a grocery shop in Dagahaley and is one of the WFP-recruited fresh food vendors. Additionally she is a beneficiary of the DRC livelihood training where she also received business skills training and a small grant to start up her business. "I am now planning to expand my business and to start selling solar lights and cold drinks because my income has increased," adds Fartun Muse.

DRC has been present in Dadaab refugee camp since 2010 and has been implementing WASH, livelihood and protection interventions in the refugee camps within Dadaab.

Somalia: East Africa : The 2014-2015 Rainfall Season (Short Rains)

18 December 2014 - 2:11pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

HIGHLIGHTS

• The “short rains” / “Deyr” season of late 2014 has had mixed performance across East Africa. Northeast Kenya and southern Somalia have been affected by persistently drier than average conditions since the early stages of the season. The onset of the season was delayed, while in the worst affected areas no growing season conditions were detected.

• This poor seasonal performance adds to the effect of previous seasons characterized by significant rainfall deficits which results in a situation of extended long term dryness affecting pastoralist resources. Significant and extensive vegetation cover deficits are evident. Since the remainder of the season provides negligible rainfall amounts, there will be no improvements until next March (onset of the “long rains” season of 2015).

• In contrast, the rest of the region, in particular the pastoral areas of Turkana, Karamoja and East Equatoria, has enjoyed broadly favourable rainfall alleviating the effects of the drier than average previous season. SE Ethiopia and Somaliland have also enjoyed a good rainfall season.

• Satellite data shows much above average vegetation levels in these regions, providing evidence of good water and pasture resources for the coming dry season.

• Seasonal forecasts for the next rainfall season (“long rains”/”Gu”, from February-March 2015 onwards) provide indications of above average rainfall – if realized, this would mean much needed relief from persistent dryness that has been affecting northeast Kenya and southern Somalia regions since the past 12 months.

Somalia: Food Security & Nutrition Quarterly Brief - Focus on Post-Deyr 2014/15 Season Early Warning (Issued December 18, 2014)

18 December 2014 - 1:53pm
Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

Based on the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit’s (FSNAU) preliminary outlook, acute food insecurity is expected to persist in most parts of Somalia although slight improvements are expected, predominantly in pastoral and agropastoral areas of the country. Based on the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) acute food insecurity severity scale, a modest decline in the overall number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is expected in the first half of 2015. Most of the population in urban and rural livelihoods of the country is likely to be classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, some population groups in urban areas in the South affected by trade disruptions due to conflict as well as those in rural areas affected by floods or poor rains will be classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) are expected to remain the largest population group in acute food security crisis.

As a result of largely normal Deyr rains, near average to average crop production is expected in the main cereal producing regions of Lower Shabelle and Bay, which normally account for over two-thirds of the Deyr cereal production in southern Somalia. However, domestic cereal supply (from Gu/Karan and Deyr harvests) is expected to be below average as a result of below average Gu-Karan harvest in the Northwest (two-thirds of the normal levels) as well as anticipated shortfall in Deyr harvest in the regions of Juba, Middle Shabelle and Hiran. Normally, these regions jointly comprise about one-quarter of the Deyr cereal harvest in southern Somalia.

A short-term deterioration of food security conditions (through March/April 2015) is expected in riverine areas of Juba and Middle Shabelle due to floods, although this is likely to be mitigated by a modest improvement from off-season cereal and sesame production expected by March-April next year. Below normal rains in Hiran Agropastoral are likely to affect crop production in this livelihood but will not a have short-term impact on pasture resources, while livestock migration options towards pastoral and riverine areas are also available. Pasture and water shortages could be expected towards the end of Jilaal season (in March 2015) in pastoral parts of southern Gedo, Middle and Lower Juba and parts of Central due to below normal Deyr rainfall performance.

IDPs in major settlements of Somalia are expected to remain in food security crisis. The recent nutrition survey (December 2014) results revealed a sustained prevalence of Serious to Critical levels of acute malnutrition (Global Acute Malnutrition [GAM] >10%) in 10 out of 13 main IDP settlements. Critical levels (GAM >15%) of acute malnutrition are prevalent in five of the settlements, including Baidoa, Dolow, Bossaso, Garowe and Galkayo. While the total number of acutely malnourished children decreased seasonally by more than 18 percent compared to Gu 2014 season, it is significantly higher (by 31%) compared to Deyr 2013. IDPs comprise the moist vulnerable group of population in Somalia. Based on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, over 20 000 IDPs have been evicted over the past three months, primarily from governmental buildings. More evictions are likely in the coming months, which will have implications on food security status of this population group. Based on the UNHCR data, insecurity caused a displacement of about 30 000 people since September 2014.

Trade disruptions due to prevailing insecurity sustained in some urban areas of Bakool, Bay, Hiran and Gedo regions where access roads remain under insurgent control. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), showed a relative stability in the cost of living in most urban areas in July-November 2014 period. Expected declines in cereal prices when the Deyr harvest enters the market (January-February) is likely to exert a downward pressure on the cost of living through March 2015. However, this could be compromised by deteriorating security conditions, particularly in southern parts of the country. Cereal price trends in the subsequent period (April-June 2015) will be influenced by such factors as the Gu 2015 rainfall performance, which is yet uncertain, as well as the extent of humanitarian relief interventions.

Continued humanitarian interventions are necessary at least up to the end of June 2015 to address prevailing acute food insecurity conditions and malnutrition in Somalia.

Somalia: Somalia Climate Update November 2014 Monthly Rainfall and NDVI (Issued December 18, 2014)

18 December 2014 - 1:48pm
Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

Highlights

During the month of November 2014, observed rain gauge readings and field reports indicate continuation of the Deyr rains. Mostly above average rains have been observed in the South and parts northeast regions. Notable stations in the south that recorded above average rains include; Bardhere (330mm), Bay (220mm), Dinsor (171mm), Jamame (105mm), Hudur (103mm), Mataban (90mm). Similarly in north Alula, Iskushuban, Elafweyn recorded 101mm, 14mm and 21mm respectively. In Northwest where Sheikh rain gauge recorded 30mm of rainfall (Table 1). River levels have stabilized in the south while farmers have benefiting from residual farming. In October river-flooding affected crops in Lower Juba, Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions.

Satellite-derived Rainfall Estimates (RFE) also confirm continuation of Deyr rains in the month of November 2014 (Maps 2-5 and 9). The RFE as the difference from the Long-Term Mean (LTM), indicate favourable rains in most of the southern regions and parts of central (Mudug region), while deficits of 10 – 30 percent is evident in some areas in central as well as in parts of Bari (Northeast) and in Nugal valley livelihood zone in the Northwest. Rainfall estimates are less good in capturing the high intensity rains that led to the high measured amounts for the stations mentioned in the first paragraph.The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for November 2014 derived from the METOP - AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) shows continued increase in vegetation vigour in the southern areas of Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Shabelles and the Jubas (Map 6-8). However, according the NDVI difference when compared to LTM (2007-2013) depressed vegetation is still evident in large pastoral areas in Lower Juba, coastal areas of Lower Shabelle and small pockets in Gedo, Bakool, Hiran and Central regions (Map 10).

Cereal production in Lower Shabelle is expected to be good due to generally average rains, though in localized agropastoral areas close to the coast (Barawe district), cereal production is likely to be compromised by light and delayed rains. As a result of favourable Deyr rains, pasture and water availability is normal in most parts of the country. However, poor pasture conditions have been reported in Coastal Deeh and Dharor livelihoods of Ishkushuban district of Bari region as well as in parts of Central (Dhusamareb and Adado districts). Natural water catchments and artificial berkads have been replenished, while livestock body conditions have improved. Water shortage has been reported in East Golis livelihood zone in Qandala district in Bari region.

World: Global Food Security Update, Issue 16 - December 2014

18 December 2014 - 12:39pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Tracking food security trends in vulnerable countries

Highlights

· According to the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster analyses, 9.8 million people in Syria need various types of food, agriculture and livelihood-related assistance.

· As fighting prevails in Iraq, an estimated 2.2 million people across the governorates of Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala, Ninewa and Salah al-Din are in need of emergency food assistance.

· Following the main harvest, food insecurity has temporarily eased in South Sudan. However, 1.5 million people remain in Crisis or Emergency Phases through December 2014.

· According to the FAO/WFP CFSAM, as of December 2014, approximately 500,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are food insecure due to the Ebola epidemic.

· According to the October 2014 EFSA in the Central African Republic, 1.4 million people are food insecure.

· The 2014-2015 rainfall season has been mixed across the region, with below average rainfall in the eastern half of Kenya and southern half of Somalia.

· In the Philippines, following Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) 400,000 people are expected to experience the most severe food security impacts, according to an initial WFP estimate.

· Assessments show that dry spells in September have increased food insecurity in areas of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Somalia: Deyr 2014 Rainfall Performance, September - December 2014

18 December 2014 - 11:10am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Somalia

The 2014 Deyr season started well in advance in the northern parts of the country ‐ during the third dekad of Sep‐ tember ‐ and continued to spread out spatially, coming to an end in the first dekad of November. The southern regions experienced a delay in the start of the season ‐ until the third dekad of October ‐ and ceased in the last week of November with only a few stations recording rains in the first week of December.

Heavy rains were reported within the Juba and Shabelle river basins, both inside Somalia and across the border in the Ethiopian highlands. The heavy rains led to high river levels, consequently causing flooding along the two rivers. The worst affected areas include Gedo, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, Hiraan and Middle Shabelle, where cropland was inundated and about 50,000 persons were displaced by the floods.

Somalia: Closing Ceremony of Eight-Day Training Programme

18 December 2014 - 7:31am
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 16 December 2014- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has just completed an eight-day training programme for 11 members of the Somali Police Force (SPF) and two members of the AMISOM Police Component. UNSOM coordinated this event with funding from the Somali Peace and Reconciliation Trust Fund, contributed by Government of Japan.

This training is the second phase of training programme series as part of communications element of Somali Police Force Utility Mobility and Infrastructure Project. The digital radio system to be installed in Mogadishu soon was introduced and demonstrated during the course.

“I am very pleased with the technical skills on the use of communications equipment you have acquired from this training opportunity. This will help the Somali Police Force build a team that is skilled and equipped, one that can contribute to the ongoing restoration of peace and security in the country,’’ said UNSOM’s Police Commissioner Mr. Mustafa Resat Tekinbas.

Speaking at the event, the Director of the SPF Communications Department, Gen. Mohamed Wardhere asked for an increase in capacity-building programmes for SPF members so as to enable them to acquire technical skills in order to fullfil day-to-day operations.

“I would like to thank donors, the organizers and the facilitators for organizing this event, for the support they have provided to training our Police Force. Without their support, this training session would not have been a success.’’ said General Mohamed.

At the end of the eight-day training session, all participants were awarded with certificates.

Training Programmes on digital communications and utility hubs will continue in the new year.

Somalia: Harnessing the Power of the Sun – bringing Solar Panels to Somaliland

18 December 2014 - 7:21am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Somalia

In the city of Burao, like in other areas of Somaliland, electricity is one of the most expensive commodities. Electricity is provided by a number of private companies, using generators that consume a lot of fuel, making electricity one of the biggest challenges to both development and investment as people struggle with high electricity bills.

The picture is much bleaker in the health sector where hospitals need constant and powerful electricity to operate equipment necessary to keep people alive. Bigger hospitals, such as the Burao General Hospital, have their own generators but struggle to afford fuel to keep them on. Doctors often carry out long operations under uncertain circumstances – worried the frequent power cuts would threaten their work and the lives of their patients. Burao hosts a growing number of internally displaced persons (IDP) and camps. Despite its increasing population, Burao has only one main hospital with very limited resources. According to the medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières, it is the biggest public hospital in the region, serving a population of at least 350,000 people.

To help address this critical issue, UNDP and the Ministry of Health teamed up to find an energy-efficient way to reduce electricity costs and improve health services at the Burao Hospital. By installing solar panels at the hospital, the solar energy produces enough electricity to cover nearly 75% of the hospitals’ needs. This clean energy provides the constant power needed to keep the hospital’s life-saving services working without releasing carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Renewable green energy like solar panels contribute to a safer environment, reduce pollution, and support the hospital to use clean and sustainable energy to serve the community.

Before the solar panels provided steady electricity, many patients were at risk. “I remember one night as we had an emergency and a patient was being operated on, but in the middle of the operation, there was a sudden power cut,” says Hassan Rooble, a nurse at Burao Hospital. “It was horrific; I thought the patient was going to die. It was so dark and all the machines stopped. We did not have a generator and even if we did there was no fuel. The doctor had to leave the wound open and only began stitching it once the electricity was back on,” he said.

“We used to spend a lot of money on electricity that we simply did not have,” said Hassan Ismail, the hospital administrator at the Burao General Hospital. “Even after a 50% discount (for public service), we used to pay $6000 USD per month just for electricity. Because treatment at the hospital is almost free of charge, the Local Municipality used to cover some of the electric costs and sometimes we used to ask local businessmen and companies for help when we couldn’t pay the difference,” said Ismail.

The solar power system brought huge cost savings for the hospitals on their electricity bills. The project has reduced the electricity expense of Burao Hospital from $6000 per month to just $1500, allowing the hospital to use the saved amount in its other essential areas. It also provides continuous and reliable electricity without fear of power cuts in the middle of operations. The solar power system includes a remote monitoring system to provide real time information to monitor the system and keep it running.

Such interventions have been welcomed by Somaliland authorities. Somaliland’s Minister of Health Dr Suleiman Isse Ahmed thanked UNDP and the government of Japan, which funded this project, for continuing to support the Somali people. UNDP helps Somali government institutions deliver the social services required by the Somali people. After the installation of the solar panels in Burao Hospital, the Ministry of Health and the government asked UNDP’s assistance in installing more solar power in some health posts, IDP camps, police stations and other important areas.

UNDP’s Environment Project has been working with local government to ensure that Somali men and women benefit equally from improved natural resource management and sustainable sources of energy. UNDP strives to extend its gender-responsive and conflict-sensitive support for the sustainable management of environment. This means developing institutional capacities to implement environment and disasters management policies and promote sustainable energy options.

To ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and protection of the environment, UNDP draws on its institutional knowledge and expertise to improve awareness about the adverse impacts of climate change, enhance national capacities for sustainable management of natural resources, implement best environmental management practices that benefit Somalis (men and women) and demonstrate innovative renewable energy and energy efficient solutions.

Somalia: Somalia: Livelihood Assets - 2014 GAP Analysis Trend (December 2014)

18 December 2014 - 12:59am
Source: Food Security Cluster Country: Somalia

This map displays areas which have been chronically underserved during 2014 (Jan-Oct). Underserved was dened as districts which had 0-10% (red color on FSC gap analysis maps) of the targeted needs met on a monthly basis. Underserved frequency was aggregated to display the total number of months a district had 0-10% of its targeted needs met. Reasons for being underserved were primarily due to access constraints.

Somalia: Somalia: Improved Access and Safety Nets - 2014 Gap Analysis Trend (December 2014)

18 December 2014 - 12:56am
Source: Food Security Cluster Country: Somalia

This map displays areas which have been chronically underserved during 2014 (Jan-Oct). Underserved was dened as districts which had 0-10% (red color on FSC gap analysis maps) of the targeted needs met on a monthly basis. Underserved frequency was aggregated to display the total number of months a district had 0-10% of its targeted needs met. Reasons for being underserved were primarily due to access constraints.

World: Food Assistance Outlook Brief December 2014

18 December 2014 - 12:24am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR JUNE 2015

This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population (IPC Phase 3 and higher) is compared to last year and the recent five-year average and categorized as Higher ( ), Similar ( ), or Lower ( ). Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season. Additional information is provided for countries with large food insecure populations, an expectation of high severity, or where other key issues warrant additional discussion. Analytical confidence is lower in remote monitoring countries, denoted by “RM”. Visit www.fews.net for detailed country reports.