Somalia - ReliefWeb News
In a part of the world long plagued by conflict, drought and instability, Somalia's Somaliland region is a bright spot. Located in the north-west of the country, the region is undergoing profound social transformation. Through the Integrated Community Development Programme (ICDP) – financed by IFAD, the Belgian Fund for Food Security and the OPEC Fund for International Development – rural people are learning to read and write, taking loans, starting businesses and improving their lives and communities.
The transformation in this rural area is social as well as economic. Women and men are perceiving their gender roles in new ways, which is opening up opportunities hitherto unthinkable.
The women's Savings and Credit Groups (SCGs), a core element of ICDP, have been one of the major drivers of change. ICDP funds have provided loans and allowed some 800 members of 53 SCGs, all led by women, to be trained in various income-generating activities.
The literacy classes and loans have had a major impact – and not just on women. The ability to read and write, along with access to credit, have transformed lives and productivity. The experience has made the women realize that through unity, solidarity and mutual support, they can change their own and others’ destinies. "My tea shop is not only my job, it is what I live for," says Ayan Qalif Jama, who received an initial loan of US$500 from her local women's SCG in the ICDP area.
"Thanks to the loan from the SCG,” she adds, “I have built a house for my family. I saved 3,000 shillings to allow my twin sister to go to a technical school in Hargeisa, and I'm paying the school fees also for my younger brothers."
Embracing the whole community
The programmes in Somaliland has shown, as well, that gender empowerment can only happen with the participation of both women and men.
Abdul Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf is one of ICDP's more unusual success stories. The long wait from one harvest to the next meant that Abdul didn't have enough food to put on the table. This led him to take the unexpected step of joining his local women's SCG in Taysa.
"Learning how to read and write helped me identify the activity I wanted to invest in," recalls Abdul, a 40-year-old farmer and single father of seven. "I walked around my village looking for ideas and services I could offer." One day, he stumbled across the idea he was looking for: a grain mill. "I saw one in Gabiley, about 15 km away from our village, and immediately realized it was the right thing to go for," explains Abdul. "I counted how many farmers left my village to go to Gabiley to grind their grains and how much it cost them. This was the right thing to do if I wanted to guarantee my family a daily income."
A business is born
But that was only half the story. Next, Abdul had to convince the 60 members of the SCG to buy into his idea and lend him the money. "At first the women were extremely sceptical. I tried to explain to them that they would also benefit from the investment and that I would repay my loan [at a rate of] two dollars per day," he says.
In the end, Abdul's pitch proved successful. He was able to purchase the mill at a cost of US$11,000.
Having the women from the SCG on his side allowed Abdul to gain the support of the entire community. The land on which he built the storage facility for his mill and a temporary shack to store his equipment were donated to him. Within a year, Abdul – true to his word – paid off his entire loan without any hitches.
A grateful Abdul praised ICDP's impact on his life: "Thanks to IFAD's and ICDP's support of the Taysa community, I have had the opportunity to overcome poverty and build a better future for my children."
Abdul's idea has benefitted the entire community and subsequently has been chosen as a model for replication. Not only are his charges cheaper than his competitors', but because he is local, no-one need travel a long distance any longer to mill their grain.
Ayan Qalif Jama’s tea shop has also been the start of something bigger, not just for her but for those around her. From a small beginning, her activity is transforming the lives of several people.
Three years ago, when Ayan's family lost all their livestock to drought, the 27-year-old decided to set up her own tea shop. "Before the programme, I could not afford our daily meals – it was like a luxury for us," she explains, proudly showing off her small premises made from corrugated metal. "Now our meals are regular and my family is happy."
Having paid off her initial loan, Ayan applied for a second, with which she has invested in livestock. Each animal she rears and sells enables her to buy three more.
But it's not just about making money. With the increased earnings, Ayan has been able to quadruple her savings to almost US$50 per month.
The SCGs have certainly changed lives and opened up opportunities. With a total of over US$230,000 and a current loans portfolio exceeding US$77,000, the groups established under ICDP allow members to focus their income-generating activities on the community, thus revitalising the local economy. As a result, SCGs have come to be recognised as a community institutions in Somaliland. So much so that the Dhubato community's SCG has decided to widen its eligibility criteria to include loans for investment in productive activities. This paves the way for the men to establish their own SCG. By offering their own savings as a loan, the Dhubato women a
In response to the outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) in South Sudan, over 19,000 children were vaccinated last week in Bentiu Poc, where the two cases were reported. Outbreak response plans are in place to hold three rounds of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) in high risk areas to stop transmission of the virus.
In the north of Madagascar, SIAs are planned for December in response to the outbreak of cVDPV. National Immunization Days are planned for January. The aim is to boost immunity across the country against all strains of poliovirus.
A planning meeting was held in Pakistan last week to develop a strategy for the low poliovirus transmission season, December 2014 to May 2015, using lessons learned from high risk areas. There is national consensus for the low season plan, including increased support from the Pakistan law enforcement and security services. The structure of the planned Emergency Operations Centre for polio eradication at the Federal and Provincial levels is being finalized.
For the first time ever, only 1 case of wild poliovirus has been reported in Africa in the last 4 months, despite the high season for polio transmission. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 11 August in Somalia.
Scattered moderate to heavy rains observed in southern Somalia and eastern Kenya.
Below-average rains persist in central Angola, southern Zambia, and eastern South Africa.
1) Low and poorly distributed seasonal “Deyr” rains have led to strengthening moisture deficits and deteriorating ground conditions throughout several local areas in southern Somalia, eastern Kenya, and coastal Tanzania. Recent rains have relieved dryness over most parts, but rainfall deficits have persisted over many localized areas.
2) Suppressed and erratic rains across parts of southern Cote d’Ivoire and southern Ghana during October have led to strengthening dryness.
Suppressed rains are forecast throughout the region during early November.
3) Since late September, erratic and poorly distributed rains have led to strong moisture deficits throughout many parts of northern Angola. The early season dryness follows drought conditions from a poor rains season last year, which may further exacerbate ground conditions.
4) Several weeks of infrequent and low rainfall totals have led to anomalously early season dryness throughout parts of southern DRC and Zambia. The forecast suppressed rains during the next week are likely to worsen conditions on the ground.
5) Since October, poorly distributed rains and dry spells have led to a deterioration of ground conditions throughout several states of South Africa, southeastern Botswana, and Swaziland.
There will be a reduction of rainfall activities in the Ethiopian highlands and the southern parts of the country in the coming three days. The northern parts of Somalia are not expected to receive any rains during the same period.
From 17th to 20th November, Geneva Call held in Geneva its Third Meeting of Signatories to the Deeds of Commitment and gathered 70 high-level representatives – political leaders, commanders and officers and legal advisers – of 35 armed non-State actors (ANSAs) coming from 14 different countries including Syria, Burma/Myanmar, Sudan, Philippines and Somalia. Most are signatories to at least one of Geneva Call’s Deeds of Commitment, but some non-signatory ANSAs also attended.
One of the main objectives of the meeting was to monitor the implementation of the commitments the signatories have taken. During three days, representatives from ANSAs attended sessions on international humanitarian norms, child protection, humanitarian mine action and gender issues given by recognized academics and experts coming from organizations such as UN agencies and international NGOs. During the sessions, representatives presented their own successes in implementing these norms but also the challenges they are facing with.
“It is very difficult to determine the age of a new recruit in the field, they don’t have official documents, and may try to join our armed forces even if they are under 18” explained a representative of an armed movement from Sudan. A child protection expert then detailed an approach that has been successful in such cases, for example to evaluate the age of children according to their memories of events that happened within their communities.
“This conference was the opportunity to reinforce the knowledge of international humanitarian norms of all participants but above all to strengthen their commitment to comply with these norms and show that it is possible for an armed movement to prohibit sexual violence, child soldiers or landmines” concluded Elisabeth Decrey Warner, Geneva Call’s President. “It was also an opportunity for Geneva Call to learn more about the constraints faced in the field by ANSAs when they want to better protect civilians.”
In a final declaration, all present ANSAs reaffirmed their willingness and responsibility to protect civilians in armed conflict and improve compliance with the “rules of war”. Signatories to the Deeds of Commitment adopted a specific declaration in which they commit to respect and implement the Deeds of Commitments they have signed.
To kick off the conference, two armed movements from Asia committed to abide by international humanitarian norms by each signing one of Geneva Call’s Deeds of Commitment. More signatures of the Deeds of Commitment by participants are expected soon.
Riverine areas along the Juba likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through March
With only some, very limited income from labor, areas along the Juba River from Buaale in Middle Juba to Jamame District in Lower Juba will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase3) through March 2015. River flooding in October and flash floods in November destroyed planted crops and infrastructure. They have also reduced labor demand.
Outside of riverine areas in the Jubas, most areas remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and are likely to remain so through March. Agropastoral areas in Hiraan and Gedo will likely have below-average Deyr production in January/February, though to the situation in Hiraan is still likely to improve from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) after the harvest.
More than 38,000 people have benefited from an Islamic Relief healthcare project delivered in Banadir, Somalia.
Drought, famine and conflict have forced an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes across Somalia. Tens of thousands are now living in camps around Mogadishu, capital of the Banadir region, a city to which many have returned as security improves.
Islamic Relief’s has been providing primary healthcare services through a range of projects in the region. Our life-saving work included the construction of two health centres and the supply of equipment and an ambulance in 2013.
Supporting health centres in Bondhere and Waberi
The latest scheme extended support for the health centres in Bondhere and Waberi; which serve displaced people and host communities. Medical devices, drugs and equipment were provided and water and electricity supplies covered at both centres.
By also supporting training for clinical staff such as midwives, the project enabled basic medical services – including reproductive health and general care – to be provided.
Maryan Osman, 28, was amongst those to benefit. “Originally we are from Biadoa and we left our home due to the famine and conflict,” she said, adding that she now lives in Bondhere IDP camp.
“I came seek treatment for [burns on] my leg. I cannot imagine what could have happened to me if I was still in my village, where it is rare to get such support.”
Community health education
As well as improving maternal and neonatal health, the scheme delivered community health education and information across the region. Covering topics from HIV and AIDS to breastfeeding, family planning, cholera and malaria; our basic health and hygiene messages reached about 30,000 people.
The project was funded by Islamic Relief Canada and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It completes this month.
- Humanitarianfunding shortfall jeopardizes aid to hundreds of thousands of Somalis in need.
- About 50,000 people have been affected by seasonal flooding while pockets of drought remain.
- Measles outbreak of great concern with over 9,000 suspected cases reported this year, doubling the number from 2013.
- # of people in 1m humanitarian emergency and crisis
- # of people 2.16m in stress
- # of acutely 218,000 malnourished children under age 5
Source: www.fsnau.org (Aug-Dec 2014 projection)
- # of internally 1.1m displaced people
- # of Somali 1m refugees in the Horn of Africa and Yemen
933 million requested for 2014 (US$)
39% (365 million) (reflecting reported funding on FTS as of 21 November 2014)
Pakistan: Drought conditions in Sindh have affected nearly 1.7 million people; nearly 500 have died in Tharparkar, including 296 children. In FATA, the number of people displaced by the military’s operation Khyber One in the Tirah Valley has grown to 440,000 people, adding to 993,000 displaced by operations in North Waziristan.
Liberia: Two million children are thought to be affected by the consequences of the Ebola epidemic. High levels of unemployment are affecting income: 70% of households in a recent survey said they do not have enough money to afford food.
South Sudan: About 10,000 people, mostly women and children, have fled fighting in Southern Kordofan and are in need of humanitarian assistance in Nhialdu, Unity state. A new estimate has put the death toll from the conflict in South Sudan at 50,000 since December 2013.
Updated: 25/11/2014. Next update: 02/12/2014
During the week ending on 24 November 2014, there was an increase of rainfall activites within the Juba and Sha‐ belle river basins inside Somalia with most stations recording moderate to heavy rains. Bardheere in Gedo region recorded a total of 229mm in three consecuƟve days. There were isolated cases of localised flooding in Baidoa, Belet Hawac and Bardheere environs following heavy rains.
This bulletin provides summary of 10 days (Dekadal) observed rainfall in Somalia
During the second Dekad of November 2014 (11th – 20th November), there were reduced rainfall activities in the northern parts of Somalia with the exception of the north eastern coastal areas which received moderate rains. Many parts in the south received light to moderate rains in the same period. Below is a brief summary of the rainfall situaƟon by region for this dekad.
Moderate to heavy rains fell in most parts of the South in mid-November
Light showers to moderate rains ranging from five to 100 millimeters (mm) with average to good spatial coverage were received in most parts of the country including areas in the Northeast, parts of the Northwest, the central regions, and most parts of the southern regions, according to both ground reports and satellite estimates (Figure 1). The rainfall estimate (RFE2) for November 11 to 20 was 10 to 15 mm below the 2000-to-2013 average in most parts of the central and northern regions and as well most parts of the Shabelle and Juba Valleys. However, in most parts of Bay Region, rainfall was 10 to 50 mm above average (Figure 2).
881,896 people supported
8,283 mt food distributed
Cereal prices remain significantly higher than a year ago due to shortage of supply from local production and humanitarian assistance. In most southern regions, cereal stocks among the poor households have already been exhausted or will run out within the next one month. Civil insecurity is continuing to reduce movement of people and goods, including food commodities, impacting negatively on trade and income opportunities in most parts of the country.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 42 900 Somalis were displaced internally, mostly due to forced evictions and insecurity during July-September.
WFP Somalia is facing critical pipeline break in pulses which started in November.
Pipeline breaks in nutrition products could end ongoing treatment for nearly 95,000 moderately malnourished children, effectively putting them at risk of deteriorating to severe acute malnutrition.
IDPs in Baidoa have been struggling to cope with the effects of heavy rains for the last few days. The torrential rains caused flash floods in many areas of Baidoa town and its suburbs. The IDPs who live in makeshift houses in IDPs settlements are the worst affected.
According to UNOCHA, there are 77 IDP camps in Baidoa with an estimated number of 10133 households. Majority of these people have no access to the basic human needs.
Two of our Baidoa team visited two of the IDPS settlements that were affected by the flood - Bakaraweyn and Dorawere.
The IDPs in these two camps were already facing many challenges due to limited access to food, clean water, hygiene/sanitation facilities, health, education, shelter and protection. Their situation has been worsened by the flash floods which have destroyed their makeshift houses and washed away the little household assets they had. The overcrowded settlements are still underwater and there is risk of outbreak of water-borne diseases. The stagnant water may also cause malaria. The IDPs said there are already a lot of mosquitoes and they don’t have anything to protect children from the mosquito bites.
Somalia: AMISOM and Humanitarian actors launch the Somalia Country Specific Guidelines to promote a clear distinction between Military actors and Humanitarian actors
November 24, 2014: The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today launched the Somalia Country Specific Guidelines to govern relations on civil-military coordination in Somalia.
The Somalia Country Specific Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Guidelines were launched at a ceremony attended by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and AMISOM Head of Mission, Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou and the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Somalia, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator (DSRSG/RC/HC) – Mr. Philippe Lazzarini.
The guidelines aim to establish agreed principles and practices for constructive civil-military relations between AMISOM and humanitarian actors, operating within the same environment in Somalia.
Speaking during the ceremony, the SRCC reiterated the commitment of AMISOM to provide conducive environment for humanitarian assistance to reach the Somali people.
“AMISOM is mandated by the UN Security Council to provide a safe environment that facilitates timely delivery of humanitarian aid. This has been done and we will continue to provide all the necessary support to humanitarian agencies. I would like to see humanitarian efforts have a lasting impact on the Somali people, especially the women and children. They cannot wait another day for help,” he said.
Mr. Lazzarini added that such guidelines are very important in ensuring better structured relations and in turn more effective aid delivery.
“The relationship between humanitarian agencies and AMISOM is very important. These guidelines will ensure better, mutual, understanding and better implementation of our respective mandates,” he noted.
For more information, please contact; Eloi Yao, AMISOM Spokesperson, Cell phone: (Somalia) +252 699 525 773; (Nairobi) +254 702 155 126; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moderate to heavy rains are expected in most parts of south and central Somalia as well as in the Ethiopian highlands in the coming three days. The northern parts of Somalia may receive light or no rains during the forecast period.
Somalia: Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) 2015 Horn of Africa (ECHO/-HF/BUD/2015/91000) Last update: 22/09/2014 Version 1
The activities proposed hereafter are still subject to the adoption of the financing decision ECHO/WWD/BUD/2015/01000
AMOUNT: EUR 77 000 000
The displacement crisis in the region is both acute and protracted. As a direct consequence of two decades of instability, about 1.7 million refugees, mainly from Somalia but also from South Sudan, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea have fled the consequences of recurrent droughts coupled with other armed situations of violence, insecurity and lack of economic opportunities to find refuge in neighbouring countries, particularly in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. In addition, about 1.5 million people are internally displaced in Somalia and Ethiopia; short-term and frequent internal displacements are also on the rise in Kenya.
On top of this already very substantial number of refugees and internal displacements , the crisis in South Sudan has triggered the displacement of over 350 0002 people who have sought refuge in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya since 15 December 2013. The refugees are still in majority women, children and unaccompanied minors who are in need of immediate life-saving assistance (food, water, health and nutrition, shelters and protection). The influx of refugees continues and the UN Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) foresees that up to one million refugees could have reached the neighbouring countries by the end of 2014.
Somalia: Epidemiological Bulletin Somalia: Volume 2, Issue 45, Epidemiological week 45, 3—9 Nov 2014
● During Epi* week 45–2014, surveillance data was submitted timely by 94.2% (196) of the 208 sentinel sites across Somalia.
● The total number of consultations reported in week 45 is 37 900 (including 34.1% children below 5), compared to 37 460 consultations in week 44. Of the diseases under surveillance, the leading causes of morbidity were malaria, suspected measles and AWD. South and central zones accounted for the highest caseload.
● About 28 alerts were reported, including: 24 alerts for suspected measles, three for AWD* and one for AFP*. Investigations are underway.
● The total WPV case count since the beginning of the outbreak is now 199; 195 from 47 districts in 2013 and 5 in 2014 all from Jariban and Hobyo districts in Mudug Region. Date of onset for the most recent case in Hobyo District is 11/08/2014.
● 13 cases of AWD including 9 children under the age of 5 years were reported from Bajeela settlement, 150 km from Galkacyo. Health authorities and partners responded and there have been no additional cases.
● In Eldibir, Hobyo district partners reported 36 cases of suspected whooping cough. The district has limited access due to insecurity and is home for the most recent polio case. EPI teams are planning response.
Leading diseases in Somalia (Epi week 45 - 2014)
Of the diseases under surveillance, confirmed malaria, suspected cholera and suspected measles remain the leading causes of morbidity in the country. In week 45, southern Somalia reported the highest proportional morbidity for confirmed malaria (1.9%) and that of suspected cholera (0.4%). Proportional morbidity for suspected measles (0.6%) was highest in Central Somalia.