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Somalia: Humanitarian Action for Children 2015: Somalia

2 hours 14 min ago
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Somalia

UNICEF is requesting US$111,705,413 to meet the humanitarian needs of women and children in Somalia in 2015.

Somalia is at risk of sliding further into crisis as gains made since 2011’s famine are eroded by conflict, drought, floods, weak basic services, rising food prices, access constraints and reduced humanitarian funding. The military offensive against anti-Government elements has caused significant displacement since March 2014. Over 1 million people (62 per cent IDPs) require lifesaving assistance and 2.16 million people remain highly vulnerable to shocks. Acute malnutrition in children under-5 has increased to 218,000, including 43,800 with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Extremely low immunization rates have led to almost 9,000 measles cases in 2014 and five confirmed polio cases since June 2014. Drought in many areas threatens food security while major floods in other areas threaten lives and livelihoods. 3.2 million Somalis lack access to health care, 1.7 million children lack access to education and 2.75 million people lack sustainable access to WASH services. Sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls is widespread and armed groups commit grave violations against children. Road blockages, illegal checkpoints and active hostilities on main supply routes require airlifting supplies, thereby increasing humanitarian costs and limiting the scope of the response.

Humanitarian strategy

In 2015 UNICEF aims to prevent mortality and morbidity, increase access to services and promote community resilience by building capacity to anticipate and cope with shocks. Polio eradication remains a priority and efforts will be made to immunize all children. UNICEF will implement emergency vaccination campaigns around Somalia to prevent any further measles outbreaks. UNICEF will provide a package of curative, promotive and preventive nutrition interventions, while strengthening the implementation capacity of authorities, partners and communities. UNICEF will promote access to safe water and emergency sanitation; extend community-led total sanitation approaches to flood, drought and disease-prone areas; and maintain immediate response capacity through 10 supply hubs. UNICEF supports the disengagement and reintegration of children associated with armed groups, monitors and reports on grave violations, prevents and responds to GBV and works to improve access, quality and capacity for the provision of emergency education. UNICEF will ensure that basic lifesaving interventions take place in newly accessible areas. UNICEF co-leads the WASH, Nutrition and Education clusters, and Child Protection and GBV working groups. UNICEF programmes will be implemented using a resilience approach that provides equitable and integrated prevention, promotion and referral services while strengthening community structures, surveillance systems and community mobilization

Somalia: Key Findings from the 2014/15 Post Deyr Seasonal Food Security and Nutrition Assessment (29 January 2015)

29 January 2015 - 9:59pm
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

FSNAU Post Deyr 2014/15 Seasonal Assessment

Scope and timeline: Food security and nutrition assessment of rural, urban and displaced populations across Somalia between October-December (for field work)

Process:

(1) FSNAU-led assessment with the participation of Technical staff of other UN agencies, partners and government institutions

(2) Regional and All-Team analysis workshops in Garowe & Hargeisa with government and partners

(3) Technical vetting in Mogadishu (Nutrition) and Nairobi with government and partners

(5) Presentation to Government authorities (Mogadishu, Garowe and Hargeisa)

(6) Presentation to other stakeholders in Nairobi and technical release

(7) Public dissemination (technical release, food security and nutrition outlook; comprehensive technical reports)

Somalia: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini

29 January 2015 - 12:50pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia

(Mogadishu, 29 January 2015): According to new assessment findings released today by the Food Security and Analysis Unit, managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains of concern. There have been improvements in parts of the country due to relatively good rains in October to December, increased flow of goods and reprogrammed humanitarian assistance. Nevertheless, the outlook for 2015 is worrisome.

About 731,000 Somalis face acute food insecurity, the vast majority internally displaced people, while an additional 2.3 million people are at risk of sliding into the same situation. This brings the number of people in need of humanitarian and livelihood support to 3 million. There have been some improvements in food security in the north where rainfall has been above normal. Southern and central regions have also seen improvements, but continue to be the epicentre of the crisis. This reduction in acute food insecurity cannot be equated to a sustainable turnaround as seasonal fluctuations are common.

Malnutrition rates remain stubbornly high with nearly 203,000 acutely malnourished children requiring emergency nutrition supplement, mainly due to lack of access to clean water, sanitation infrastructure and better hygiene. About 38,000 children are severely malnourished and need life-saving medical treatment and therapeutic food. The situation has deteriorated among displaced people in Bossaso, Baidoa and Doolow, but improved in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Dhobley.

Valuable support from donors has allowed for a timely scale up of humanitarian emergency response and the worst impact of the crisis has been mitigated, especially in the second half of 2014. But available funding is not commensurate to the needs. Nearly 350,000 vulnerable Somalis are at risk of no longer receiving food assistance as early as February. In 2014, 1.5 million people were without primary healthcare services, including 300,000 children under five due to lack of funding. In 2015, the Humanitarian Response Plan requests US$863 million to save lives, improve protection of displaced people and provide durable solutions, and strengthen resilience of communities to withstand shocks. It is an essential prerequisite to continue to do everything we can to address the current humanitarian needs to prevent the relapse of a major crisis jeopardizing recent historic peace and state building gains.

For further information, please contact:
Cecilia Attefors, Communications Officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (attefors@un.org / +254 733 770766) or Frank Nyakairu, Communications Officer, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, (frank.nyakairu@fao.org / +254 786 399311). To access the FSNAU technical release, log onto www.fsnau.org

Somalia: UN Special Representative welcomes announcement of the nomination of a new cabinet by Somali Prime Minister

29 January 2015 - 7:01am
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia Country: Somalia

Mogadishu, 29 January 2015 - The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has welcomed the announcement of the nomination of a new Federal cabinet by the Prime Minister of Somalia on 27 January 2014.

“This announcement is an important step towards the establishment of a new cabinet," Special Representative Kay said.

“Once approved by the Federal Parliament, the Federal Government will need to address urgently Somalia’s state and peacebuilding goals. Much remains to be done to complete Somalia’s Vision 2016. The Federal Parliament has an important and urgent role to play in passing key legislation and establishing the remaining independent commissions foreseen in the provisional constitution, particularly the National Independent Electoral Commission. A spirit of compromise and reconciliation will be needed in the days and months to come. The United Nations is committed to supporting state and peacebuilding in Somalia."

End.

Somalia: Over 730,000 people across Somalia face acute food insecurity despite improvements in some areas

29 January 2015 - 5:21am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

Nearly 203,000 children are acutely malnourished

January 29, 2015, Nairobi/Washington – Despite improved food security following the Deyr harvest, improved livestock conditions, and mostly stable staple food prices, a large number of people across Somalia will be acutely food insecure through June 2015. Many children remain acutely malnourished, despite a small decrease in their numbers over the past six months.

An estimated 731,000 people will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4)1 through mid-2015, according to the latest findings from a joint assessment by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); and other partners. This figure represents a 29 percent decrease from the July-to December 2014 estimate. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) constitute 76 percent of the total number of people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4), with the remaining 24 percent divided equally between rural and urban populations (12% each).

Results of 41 nutrition surveys conducted across Somalia from October to December 2014 indicate that an estimated 202,600 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, including 38,200 who are severely malnourished and face a high risk of morbidity and death. Since July 2014, the number of acutely malnourished children has declined by 7 percent; the number of severely malnourished children declined by 13 percent. Current overall median Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM, 12.0%) and median Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM, 1.9%) rates are lower, compared to six months ago (14.9% and 2.6%, respectively) as well as one year ago (14.2% and 2.6%, respectively) but these improvements are not statistically significant.

Urgent lifesaving humanitarian assistance and livelihood support is required for populations in Emergency and Crisis (IPC Phases 4 and 3) between now and June 2015 to help meet immediate food needs, including urgent nutrition and health support for the acutely malnourished, particularly children. Nearly 2.3 million additional people are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through June 2015 and require interventions to protect their livelihoods and build their resilience against future shocks. This group of households remains highly vulnerable to shocks that could push them back to food security Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4).

Following are further details on factors that affected the reported food security outcomes:

  • There was near average to above-average rainfall in the surplus-producing regions of Bay and Lower Shabelle. However, localized, below-average and poorly distributed rainfall in parts of the Northeast, the central regions, and Lower and Middle Juba as well as flooding in riverine areas of Lower and Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle and Hiran Regions.

  • The Deyr 2014/15 cereal harvest in December/January is estimated to be 9 percent above the long-term average (1995-2013) but 4 percent below the five-year average (2009-2013).

Pasture and water availability remain typical in most regions, except for in localized areas in the Northeast, the central regions, and areas bordering Kenya in parts of Gedo and Lower Juba Regions.

  • Milk availability is average in most of the livelihood zones.

  • In Middle and Lower Juba, a camel disease outbreak has caused some camel deaths, which discouraged consumption, thereby exerting a downward pressure on camel and camel milk prices.

  • Local cereal prices increased or were stable from July to November in most markets, but they started declining with the start of the December Deyr harvest.

  • In areas in South-Central affected by trade disruption due to conflict, cereal prices have also declined from their highs in July but remain above their five-year averages.

  • Price of most imported commodities (rice, sugar and vegetable oil) have also declined or remained stable since July.

  • Wage labor-to-cereals Terms of Trade remained stable or increased. On the other hand, livestock-to-cereals Terms of Trade decreased in the northern and central regions due to declining livestock prices.

Areas and Populations of Concern Populations in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) are found in large proportions (10% or more of regional total population) in Bari, northern and southern Mudug, Middle and Lower Juba, and Banadir Regions.

The following areas are priorities for nutrition programming as malnutrition rates are Critical2: pastoral, agropastoral and riverine livelihoods in North and South Gedo Regions; agropastoral livelihoods and Baidoa IDPs in Bay Region; Beletweyne and Mataban Districts in Hiran Region; Bossasso IDPs in Bari Region; Garowe IDPs in Nugal Region; and Galkayo IDPs in Mudug region.

In agropastoral and pastoral areas that had below-average Deyr rainfall, many households are likely to become more food insecure until the start of Gu rains in March. In the areas that flooded in Middle and Lower Juba, households are expected to remain acutely food insecure until the delayed off-season harvest becomes available in March, after which point they will have increased access to food.

Somalia: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini [EN/SO]

29 January 2015 - 5:05am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Country: Somalia

(Mogadishu, 29January 2015): According to new assessment findings released today by the Food Security and Analysis Unit, managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the humanitarian situation in Somalia remainsof concern. There have been improvements in parts of the country due to relatively good rains in October to December, increased flow of goods and reprogrammed humanitarian assistance. Nevertheless, the outlook for 2015 is worrisome.

About 731,000 Somalis face acute food insecurity, the vast majority internally displaced people, while an additional 2.3 million people are at risk of sliding into the same situation. This brings the number of people in need of humanitarian and livelihood support to 3 million. There have been some improvements in food security in the north where rainfall has been above normal. Southern and central regions have also seen improvements, but continue to be the epicentre of the crisis. This reduction in acute food insecurity cannot be equated to a sustainable turnaroundas seasonal fluctuations are common.

Malnutrition rates remain stubbornly high with nearly 203,000 acutely malnourished children requiring emergency nutrition supplement, mainly due to lack of access to clean water, sanitation infrastructure and better hygiene. About 38,000 children are severely malnourished and need life-saving medical treatment and therapeutic food. The situation has deteriorated among displaced people in Bossaso, Baidoa and Doolow, but improved in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Dhobley.

Valuable support from donors has allowed for a timely scale up of humanitarian emergency response and the worst impact of the crisis has been mitigated, especially in the second half of 2014. But available funding is not commensurate to the needs. Nearly 350,000 vulnerable Somalis are at risk of no longer receiving food assistance as early as February. In 2014, 1.5 million people were without primary healthcare services, including 300,000 children under five due to lack of funding. In 2015, the Humanitarian Response Plan requests US$863 million to save lives, improve protection of displaced people and provide durable solutions, and strengthen resilience of communities to withstand shocks. It is an essential prerequisite to continue to do everything we can to address the current humanitarian needs to prevent the relapse of a major crisis jeopardizing recent historic peace and state building gains.

Somalia: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini

29 January 2015 - 5:05am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Country: Somalia

(Mogadishu, 29January 2015): According to new assessment findings released today by the Food Security and Analysis Unit, managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the humanitarian situation in Somalia remainsof concern. There have been improvements in parts of the country due to relatively good rains in October to December, increased flow of goods and reprogrammed humanitarian assistance. Nevertheless, the outlook for 2015 is worrisome.

About 731,000 Somalis face acute food insecurity, the vast majority internally displaced people, while an additional 2.3 million people are at risk of sliding into the same situation. This brings the number of people in need of humanitarian and livelihood support to 3 million. There have been some improvements in food security in the north where rainfall has been above normal. Southern and central regions have also seen improvements, but continue to be the epicentre of the crisis. This reduction in acute food insecurity cannot be equated to a sustainable turnaroundas seasonal fluctuations are common.

Malnutrition rates remain stubbornly high with nearly 203,000 acutely malnourished children requiring emergency nutrition supplement, mainly due to lack of access to clean water, sanitation infrastructure and better hygiene. About 38,000 children are severely malnourished and need life-saving medical treatment and therapeutic food. The situation has deteriorated among displaced people in Bossaso, Baidoa and Doolow, but improved in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Dhobley.

Valuable support from donors has allowed for a timely scale up of humanitarian emergency response and the worst impact of the crisis has been mitigated, especially in the second half of 2014. But available funding is not commensurate to the needs. Nearly 350,000 vulnerable Somalis are at risk of no longer receiving food assistance as early as February. In 2014, 1.5 million people were without primary healthcare services, including 300,000 children under five due to lack of funding. In 2015, the Humanitarian Response Plan requests US$863 million to save lives, improve protection of displaced people and provide durable solutions, and strengthen resilience of communities to withstand shocks. It is an essential prerequisite to continue to do everything we can to address the current humanitarian needs to prevent the relapse of a major crisis jeopardizing recent historic peace and state building gains.

Somalia: Somalia: Limited Progress in Protecting Civilians

29 January 2015 - 4:48am
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Somalia

Opportunities Lost to Rein in Abusive Armed Groups

(Nairobi) – The Somali government made limited progress in 2014 in protecting civilians from abusive armed forces in the country’s long conflict, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. Displaced populations were most vulnerable to sexual violence and forced evictions, while the armed Islamist group Al-Shabaab targeted civilians for attack.

“The Somali government missed key opportunities in 2014 to enact reforms that would curtail rights violations,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Civilians again bore the brunt of the government’s failure to rein in abusive forces and make justice a priority.”

In the 656-page world report, its 25th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth urges governments to recognize that human rights offer an effective moral guide in turbulent times, and that violating rights can spark or aggravate serious security challenges. The short-term gains of undermining core values of freedom and non-discrimination are rarely worth the long-term price.

In Somalia, proposed judicial reforms and other government plans to improve accountability for the security forces were hampered by political infighting and reshuffles in senior posts, tensions over federalism, and ongoing insecurity in government-controlled areas.

The government failed to protect hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in dire conditions around the capital, Mogadishu, who are at risk of forced evictions and other serious abuses. While the government endorsed a comprehensive plan to tackle the alarming levels of sexual violence across the country, implementation was slow and there was no basic protection for those most vulnerable to abuse.

The government prosecuted suspected Al-Shabaab members and supporters, as well as Somali military personnel, in military courts, though military court proceedings do not meet international fair trial standards. The court frequently imposes the death penalty, and at least 15 people were executed in 2014.

Fighting, insecurity, and threats to civilians remained rife throughout south-central Somalia, including in areas nominally under government control, Human Rights Watch said. Al-Shabaab attacked civilians and civilian infrastructure and carried out numerous targeted killings and executions. Government efforts to establish federal states, backed by the international community, fuelled deadly and destructive inter-clan fighting. Government forces became involved in the fighting in Lower Shabelle.

Some members of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) sexually abused and exploited internally displaced women and girls in their bases in Mogadishu. Both the African Union and the troop-contributing countries Uganda and Burundi began investigations into these allegations.

“The Somali government has yet to demonstrate it is capable of providing basic protection and assistance to communities under its control,” Lefkow said. “The government and its international partners need to scale up efforts to address the widespread human rights violations across Somalia.”

World: World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

29 January 2015 - 4:42am
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: China, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Russian Federation, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, United States of America, World

World Report 2015: Rights Aren’t Wrong in Tough Times
Human Rights a Path Out of Crisis and Chaos

(Beirut, January 29, 2015) – Governments make a big mistake when they ignore human rights to counter serious security challenges, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its annual world report.

In the 656-page World Report 2015, its 25th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth highlights the counterproductive circle-the-wagons approach to human rights that many governments adopted during the past tumultuous year.

“Human rights violations played a major role in spawning or aggravating many of today’s crises,” Roth said. “Protecting human rights and ensuring democratic accountability are key to resolving them.”

The rise of the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is among those global challenges that have sparked a subordination of human rights, Human Rights Watch said. But ISIS did not emerge out of nowhere. In addition to the security vacuum left by the US invasion of Iraq, the sectarian and abusive policies of the Iraqi and Syrian governments, and international indifference to them, have been important factors in fueling ISIS.

While Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq has pledged a more inclusive form of governance, the government still relies primarily on Shia militias, who carry out killing and cleansing of Sunni civilians with impunity. Government forces also attack civilians and populated areas. Reforming a corrupt and abusive judiciary, and ending sectarian rule so Sunnis feel they have a place in Iraq, will be at least as important as military action to stop ISIS atrocities, but al-Abadi has so far failed to implement essential reforms.

In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have deliberately and viciously attacked civilians in opposition-held areas. Their use of indiscriminate weapons – most notoriously, barrel bombs – has made life almost intolerable for civilians.

Yet the United Nations Security Council has largely stood by, because of Russia and China using their veto power to stop unified efforts to end the carnage. The United States and its allies have allowed their military action against ISIS to overshadow efforts to push Damascus to end its abuses. This selective concern allows ISIS recruiters to portray themselves to potential supporters as the only force willing to stand up to Assad’s atrocities.

A similar dynamic is at play in Nigeria, where human rights concerns are central to the conflict. The militant Islamist group Boko Haram attacks civilians as well as Nigeria’s security forces, bombing markets, mosques, and schools and abducting hundreds of girls and young women. Nigeria’s army has often responded in an abusive manner, rounding up hundreds of men and boys suspected of supporting Boko Haram, detaining, abusing, and even killing them. But winning the “hearts and minds” of the civilian population will require that the government transparently investigate alleged army abuses and punish offenders.

This tendency to ignore human rights in the face of security challenges was a problem highlighted in the past year in the United States as well. A US Senate committee issued a damning summary of a report on CIA torture, but while President Barack Obama has rejected torture by forces under his command, he has refused to investigate, let alone prosecute, those who ordered the torture detailed in the Senate report. That abdication of his legal duty makes it more likely that future presidents will treat torture as a policy option instead of a crime. This failure also greatly weakens the US government’s ability to press other countries to prosecute their own torturers, Human Rights Watch said.

In too many countries, including Kenya, Egypt, and China, governments and security forces have responded to real or perceived terrorism threats with abusive policies that ultimately fuel crises, Human Rights Watch said. In Egypt, the government’s crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood sends the utterly counterproductive message that if political Islamists pursue power at the polls, they will be repressed without protest – which could encourage violent approaches. In France, there is a danger that the government’s response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks – using counterterrorism legislation to prosecute speech that does not incite violence – will have a chilling effect on free expression and encourage other governments to use such laws to silence their critics.

Meeting security challenges demands not only containing certain dangerous individuals but also rebuilding a moral fabric that underpins the social and political order, Human Rights Watch said.

“Some governments make the mistake of seeing human rights as a luxury for less trying times, instead of an essential compass for political action,” Roth said. “Rather than treating human rights as a chafing restraint, policymakers worldwide would do better to recognize them as moral guides offering a path out of crisis and chaos.”

Somalia: Puntland president happy with joint health and nutrition programme

29 January 2015 - 12:48am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Somalia

The President of Puntland State of Somalia Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Alihas expressed his government's gratitude towards the Joint Health and Nutrition Programme (JHNP) and called on donors and partners to upscale the initiative by extending it to more underprivileged and minorities in the state.

The Puntland president made the remarks on January 27 when some of the JHNP donors namely UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Sweden, and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) paid him a curtsey call at the end of their visit to JHNP initiatives in the region. They were accompanied by UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, who are the three implementing agencies of the programme.Health Authorities of Puntland led by the Honourable Minister of Health were also present.

The UN agencies execute JHNP activities through the government ministry, international and local NGOs.Other donors who support the programme include the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Finland.

Initiated in 2012, with an overall budget of US$ 236 million, JHNP is a comprehensive multi-partner five-year development programme aimed at achieving the health MDGs and following the principles of the Somali Compact/New Deal.While scaling-up the delivery of the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services, the JHNP addresses the six building blocks for efficient health system functioning, building and strengthening foundations in order to improve the health and nutritional status of Somali people.

"Rest assured that your support is giving life to so many people in Puntland. Our priority now is to reach the vulnerable and those in the rural areas. We need more mobile schools and clinics so that we even reach those who have been neglected for long," said President Abdiweli.

The President also spoke of his government's efforts in working towards improving birth spacing, putting an end to early marriage and stopping female genital mutilation.

He said these are traditional practices and difficult to get rid of but that his government was working diligently on initiatives to end them.

"FGM is a barbaric act. It is not Islamic. We should all be using religious scholars and traditional leaders to help us stop the bad cultural practices," His Excellency Abdiweli said. Deputy Ambassador for Sweden in Somalia Urban Sjostrom said the donors were impressed by the work that is being done through the JHNP in Puntland and requested the president to allocate more money towards health initiatives to make the JHNP more sustainable.

"We need to develop an action plan on how we can work together to reach out more to the vulnerable. We will all be judged by the health of the vulnerable," said Sjostrom.

Somalia Health Advisor for DFID Karen Stephenson said the JHNP needs to show more results widely. She emphasised on the need for more and improved coordination of the programme.

UNFPA Deputy Representative Grace Kyeyune assured the Puntland President and the JHNP donors of renewed commitment in efforts to reach the unreached including women and young people.

UNFPA also thanked the President for his support to the CARMMA and his commitment to the cause of reducing maternal mortality.

The referral hospital in Garowe ,which the donors visited,is the site of a comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care (CEmONC) project supported by UNFPA with funds from the JHNP. The donors were impressed by services offered in a newly constructed maternal and neonatal health unit in the hospital within the framework of the project, which is registering an increase in the number of free facility-based skilled attendance at birth as well as the number of mothers benefiting from lifesaving cesarean sections and blood transfusions.

A comprehensive GBV response center located in the Garowe referral hospital, supported by UNFPA, was of particular attraction to the donors. Both DFID and SIDA expressed great appreciation of the work of this center with its linkages to the CEmONC project in the hospital, most especially as the gynecologist on the CEmONC project is a trainer and a good service provider in the area of clinical management of rape cases received at the GBV center

Other UNFPA projects visited by the donors include the maternity waiting home situated in the IDP camp as well as a midwifery training institution in Garowe. The donor visit coincided with the graduation ceremony of a batch of 20 midwives from this institution.

The donors, who visited Garowe from January 25 to January 27, 2015, promised more support to the JHNP. They also promised their availability for subsequent field visits in the nearest future and gave some recommendations to the UN agencies especially in the area of enhanced coordination, greater quality of service delivery and reaching out to the most vulnerable in a more effective and efficient manner.

For further information, please contact UNFPA Somalia Communications Specialist; Pilirani Semu-Banda. E-mail address: semu-banda@unfpa.org. Telephone number: +254743500439 @UNFPA_SOMALIA

Somalia: Somalia Aims to Improve Lives of Children

27 January 2015 - 4:27pm
Source: Voice of America Country: Somalia

Abdulaziz Billow

MOGADISHU— Somalia's president signed into law the Convention on the Rights of the Child on January 20. Somalia’s children continue to face daily challenges posed by conflict, displacement, malnutrition and disease. One in seven die before reaching the age of five and fewer than half of the children attend school.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud officially ratified the convention on the rights of children at a ceremony held in a Mogadishu school.

“We want our children to be leaders who can take on national and international responsibilities. Some of the children in front of me today will be among the leaders that take responsibility for the Somali nation and the world as well,” said the president.

Somalia is the 195th state party to sign the document. The convention articulates a set of universal rights to protect children. Among them is right to life, survival and development.

Decades of conflict in the East African nation have raised its child and maternal mortality rates to among the worst in the world. But with the recent signing, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has expressed hope that in the near future Somalia's government will be in a position to protect its own children.

"UNICEF looks forward to working with the government to implement this Convention and work towards achieving key results on the protection of children's rights within the next two years. The next two years are actually key because as a government they will be submitting the first progress report of the implementation of this Convention,” said UNICEF Somalia country representative, Stephen Lauwerier.

According to U.N. figures, one in seven Somali children die before reaching the age of five, mostly from preventable illnesses, and only four in 10 children are in school.

Human rights activists in Mogadishu welcomed the signing as a positive step. Amina Arale of the Somali Women Development Center (SWDC) said the Somali government would now be held accountable for any violation against children.

“It’s the responsibility of the government to ensure the rights of children are protected. By signing the agreement, the government can be held accountable on any crime committed on children at the courts. The Somali children now have a golden opportunity and will have their rights protected,” she said.

Although implementing the accord will take time, the government said it would now work on drafting and adopting child-friendly policies and systems, implement measures to boost child survival, development, participation and protection, and provide regular reports on its progress to the U.N.'s Committee on the Rights of the Child.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 21-27 January 2015

27 January 2015 - 10:43am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 21-27 January

Nigeria: Boko Haram attacks continue, with Borno state capital Maiduguri and nearby military bases targeted on 25 January. Security forces pushed BH back from Maiduguri, but further attacks are expected. BH also raided villages in Michika local government area, Adamawa state. There are reports that BH has forbidden the use of vehicles in areas under its control.

Ukraine: 13–21 January has been the deadliest period since the ceasefire declaration of 5 September. The death toll had increased by 200 since the beginning of January, with at least 5,086 people killed in total as of 21 January. 10,948 people have been wounded. The number of IDPs has increased by almost 50,000 since 14 January.

Updated: 27/01/2015. Next update: 03/02/2015

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Somalia: Somalia: Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 20 January 2015)

27 January 2015 - 8:46am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia

Somalia will continue to require high level attention and support in 2015 to avert a major crisis. Close to 600,000 vulnerable Somalis will be at risk of no longer receiving critical assistance from June, nearly 350,000 as early as February. In 2014, 1.5 million people were without primary health-care services, including 300,000 children under 5 years of age. In 2015, humanitarian partners request for US$863 million to respond to significant humanitarian needs.

Somalia: Somalia: Humanitarian Dashboard - November 2014 (issued on 23 January 2015)

27 January 2015 - 8:31am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia

SITUATION OVERVIEW

With US$400 million funding received in 2014, humanitarian partners responded to the most urgent needs, with particular focus on life-saving activities that helped prevent the situation from sliding back into a major crisis. As a result of increased advocacy highlighting the needs in the affected areas and partners’ ability to re-programme activities, food security partners reached nearly 1,400,000 people with livelihood investment and asset activities.

Partners supported 592,000 people with responses geared towards improving access to food focusing mainly on people in crisis and emergency and about 355,000 children treated for acute malnutrition.
The tripling of measles cases to over 10,000 in 2014 still calls for wider vaccination coverage, however, about 290,000 and 400,000 children were vaccinated against measles and polio respectively. In addition, 380,000 people benefitted from temporary access to safe water and 538,000 people with sustainable access to safe water. About 180,000 people received emergency assistance packages (EAPs) and 98,000 were supported with transitional shelter solutions.

Despite these efforts to reach affected people and much needed injection of resources, needs continued to outpace funding hampering ability to save lives. Shortfall in funding in 2014 has left 1.5 million people without primary healthcare services, including 300,000 children under 5 years of age. New and sustained funding will be critical in 2015 to bring Somalia’s humanitarian situation back from the brink.

Somalia: Somalia GBV Working Group appeals for $9.5 million

27 January 2015 - 3:57am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Somalia

Nairobi, 23 January 2015 - The Somalia Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Working Group, chaired by UNFPA and co-chaired by INTERSOS, launched an appeal for US$ 9.5 million to implement the country's GBV Working Group three-years-strategy, which aims to support the Somali Government and partners in reducing GBV against women and girls, men and boys thereby ensuring timely and accessible quality responses and services to survivors.

The strategy addresses the need for a coherent and long-term approach of all GBV actors, composed of the government, national and international NGOs and the UN, to coordinate activities around prevention and robust response to cases of GBV.

Somalia's almost three decades of protracted conflict has caused a serious humanitarian crisis, which is among the largest and most complex in the world, with about 2.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. This situation also exacerbates the occurrence of sexual violence, especially among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

More than 75 percent of all GBV cases involve physical assault, rape and sexual assault. Although comprehensive data is difficult to come by, in the past year, well over 5,000 GBV cases were reported in the country. Many more cases, particularly of rape and sexual assaults, go unreported out of fear of social stigma, reprisals from perpetrators or retribution from communities.

However, the response to the incidents of GBV is not commensurate and far less than adequate. It is equally noteworthy and applicable for both coordinated preventative measures as well as response. "Somalia is at a critical stage of rebuilding its legal, security and health institutions, presenting a unique opportunity to devise the necessary instruments to curb the incidence of gender-based violence, respond to it more effectively and end impunity for perpetrators," noted Philippe Lazzarini, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia at the donor meeting.

Lazzarini called upon all donors engaged in Somalia to extend the much needed support in implementing the GBV WG Strategy to scale up programmes and increase access to comprehensive services for survivors of GBV and strengthened effort for prevention.

The GBV Advisor to the Minister, Women and Human Rights Development Fadumo Mohamed Abdallah described GBV prevention as a key priority for the Somali Government's efforts and urged donors to support the important work of the GBV working group, which is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable and further strengthening the national capacity to address gender inequality and injustice in Somalia.

Chairperson of the national GBV working group for Somalia Isatu Kemoh Bayoh from UNFPA Somalia emphasised the need for concerted efforts in curbing GBV explaining that if left alone to deal with their ordeal, survivors often miss out on medical, psychosocial support and legal services and other forms of support emphasised The GBV working group and its partners are already implementing activities to prevent GBV, including the development of legislation and policy framework to respond to GBV, the sexual offences bill and female genital mutilation legislation and policy, according to the co-chair of the group Martine Villeneuve from Intersos.

For further information, please contact UNFPA Somalia Communications Specialist; Pilirani Semu-Banda. E-mail address: semu-banda@unfpa.org. Telephone number: +254743500439

Somalia: Qatar Red Crescent Signs MoU with Somali Counterpart

27 January 2015 - 12:01am
Source: Qatar Red Crescent Society Country: Somalia

Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has recently signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) to enhance cooperation and coordination in relation to QRC's humanitarian activities in favor of the drought- and typhoon-affected communities throughout Somalia, particularly in health, water, capacity-building, and community resilience.

A high-profile delegation of SRCS visited QRC premises, including Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, SRCS President, Dr. Youssef Hassan Mohamed, SRCS Vice-President, Mr. Ahmed Bakal, SRCS Coordinator in Somaliland, and Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Adli, SRCS Coordinator in Mogadishu, Somalia. On the QRC's side, the pact was signed by the Secretary-General, Mr. Saleh bin Ali Al-Mohannadi, in the presence of the Director of Administrative Affairs and Human Resources, Mr. Nayef bin Faisal Al-Mohannadi, and Head of QRC's Office in Somalia, Dr. Zuhair Abdel-Qader.

Mr. Al-Mohannadi welcomed the dear guests, confirming the strong QRC-SRCS relations over the years. "This MoU is an extension of QRC's work in Somalia, in light of its message as an international humanitarian organization that is an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts locally and internationally, striving to protect human dignity at times of disasters or armed conflicts, in compliance with the principles and rules defined by the Geneva Conventions, the Rules and Procedures of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the relevant national and international laws and regulations," he pointed out.

On the other hand, the head of Somali delegation, Dr. Hassan, expressed his happiness for coming to Doha to sign this important agreement, which will greatly help reach the biggest portion of the Somali people and improve their lives. He thanked QRC and the State of Qatar for everything they do and provide for the brothers in Somalia.

Dr. Abdel-Qader stated, "QRC began working in Somalia in 2004, and it opened an official office there in 2006. Since then, it has implemented numerous relief and developmental projects in response to famines and malnutrition. The agreement is expected to augment QRC's efforts to pursue its slogan of 'Saving Lives and Preserving Dignity' in favor of the Somali people, helping them overcome their calamities."

Lasting for one year, renewable, the pact serves as a legal framework for framework for operational cooperation between SRCS and QRC in Somalia. Building on the capacities and mandates of each party, this MoU specifies the responsibilities and potential areas of short-term and long-term cooperation, expanding the scope of support in fundraising, planning and implementation of existing or future projects, long-term community-based development, and facilitation of relief interventions and communication with local authorities upon request.​

Somalia: Impact assessment report for the regional initiative in support of pastoralists and agro pastoralists in the Horn of Africa (RISPA)

26 January 2015 - 4:45pm
Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development, European Union, Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Horn of Africa comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda covers approximately 5.2 million square kilometers with more than 65% of the land receiving less than 500mm of rainfall annually. This region is home to over 217 million people with diverse and rich culture, resources and opportunities which have enabled them to harness livelihoods over the years.

However as the region is increasingly confronted by climatic, demographic, political, social and economic changes; new challenges and immense opportunities for the people and governments are emerging. The Region is subject to protracted crises caused mainly by frequent droughts, conflicts and insecurity, high human population growth, land pressure and high food prices, exposing the population to increasing levels of vulnerability. This is further aggravated by low investments over the years especially in the drought prone areas, unfavorable policies, poor quality and access to services and infrastructure.

Following the drought crisis of 2010-2011 in the HoA region, it was recognized that there was need for holistic and focused investment to enhance linkages between policy and practice for change and enhanced resilience among (agro) pastoralists. It was acknowledged that there were substantive actions that needed to be undertaken to consolidate the efforts made by communities, their traditional institutions, governments and partners aimed at reducing vulnerability among (agro) pastoralists. The FAO Regional Office HoA put together a proposal and submitted it to the European Commission’s Food Security Thematic Programme (FSTP) for consideration.

It is out of this proposal that the Regional Initiative in Support of Pastoralists and Agro-pastoralists (RISPA) in the Horn of Africa (RISPA) project was funded through the signature of a standard Contribution Agreement between the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO-UN), Agreement No DCI-FOOD/2010/250711. The FAO Regional Office and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), coordinated the implementation of this cross-border, regional policy and institutional support project across the Horn of Africa and in particular in the countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

The Project supported community action plans, government coordination structures and regional policies/ institutions in support of pastoral livelihoods in order to strengthen the resilience of agro-pastoral and pastoral communities and to diversify their livelihoods strategies and options. The following is a summary of the Project’s objectives and expected results over a period of 3 years (November 2010- February 2014).

Somalia: 22 Women Trained on Business Management and Tailoring in Mogadishu

26 January 2015 - 6:26am
Source: Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli Country: Somalia

“I learnt how to sew clothes, how to sell and identify the profit and loss of my business. At first I did not understand the mathematics but I am now able to do correct calculations,” stated Madina, a trainee.

Madina was one of 22 women from Karaan, Boondheere and Yaaqshiid districts, who were trained on vocational skills in Mogadishu. The training which lasted for two months covered business management, revolving fund and dress making and fabric embroidery.

HIWA, a local organisation with two decades of experience in this area led the training in partnership with CISP.
The 22 women had been earlier trained to make reusable sanitary pads which were bought by CISP for distribution to needy schools girls. The training aimed to enhance the abilities of these women so they are able to diversify their skills and have better opportunities at being self-reliant.

In a large, neat and well lit room, the women worked sewing together the pieces of fabric they had cut into flowing dresses. They also embroidered cotton material with colourful patterns by hand.
After sometime indoors covering the theoretical part of learning, the trainers later guided the women through practical activities that they will be involved in as business women. They visited local markets to conduct business assessments, negotiate the best prices for supplies and sell their products ensuring they do their calculations correctly.

Aliyo, one of the participants: “I have learnt new sewing tips and techniques, I have been encouraged the continue practising so I can get better at it. I have also gained trade secrets that will make me successful.” An elaborate ceremony was held to mark the end of the training period. Guests representing authorities and partner organisation were present. Dresses and embroidered fabrics that they made during training were exhibited on the walls of the meeting hall.

To start off their lives as entrepreneurs, the women were each given a sewing machine, thread and fabric. Some had the chance to speak during the occasion, “on behalf of my fellow participants, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for this valuable support,” Madina said.
The messages from the leaders and civil society organisations reiterated their commitment to supporting women since they are the backbone of the community.

By: Salad Ghedi Ali (Field communication & Accountability Officer)