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Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

South Sudan: Relocation of foreign nationals from protection-of-civilians site in Juba begins

2 hours 30 min ago
Source: UN Mission in South Sudan Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) wishes to announce the start of a relocation programme for 510 foreign nationals who have been living at one of the UNMISS protection-of-civilians (PoC) sites at UNMISS headquarters along the Yei Road in Juba. The process began on 27 August with the transfer of 97 foreign nationals to Juba Town, and another 16 were transported to Juba Town on Friday, 28 August.

The relocation programme is being conducted by UNMISS in conjunction with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Mission is also coordinating closely with the national government’s Commission for Refugee Affairs of South Sudan.

The outbreak of the conflict in South Sudan in December 2013 triggered an influx of hundreds of foreign nationals into the PoC sites established by UNMISS in the opening days of the fighting to fulfill its protection-of-civilians mandate. Most of these foreign nationals come from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.

With the change in the security situation, there is no need for the foreign nationals to continue to reside in the UNMISS camp. UNMISS has worked with the foreign nationals, relevant UN agencies and national partners to identify other options for their continued stay in South Sudan.

Earlier this year, the Relief, Re-integration and Protection Section of UNMISS alongside IOM and UNHCR engaged with the foreign nationals and encouraged them to seek living options outside the PoC site at UN House that had been assigned to them. Specifically, IOM provided passports to foreign nationals upon request and UNHCR facilitated the provision of asylum-seeking certificates that will enable them to remain legally in South Sudan while their individual applications for refugee status are reviewed.

Some foreign nationals opted to seek formal refugee status in South Sudan, and their applications will be subject to a Refugee Status Determination process.

The 510 foreign nationals who registered for the relocation programme were given three options from which to choose: a move to Juba Town; a transfer to the Western Equatoria State capital of Yambio; or a move to the UNHCR-administered Makpandu refugee settlement in Yambio. To date, 264 of them have made their selections, and 104 have voluntarily signed up for relocation to Yambio, which is expected to commence on Tuesday, 1 September.

UNMISS will continue to fulfill its mandate to protect civilians in imminent threat of physical danger.

Kenya: PSC Interview: Conditions in Somalia are 'not conducive' to the return of refugees from Dadaab

4 hours 12 min ago
Source: Institute for Security Studies Country: Kenya, Somalia

The Dadaab refugee camp complex in Kenya is home to over 400 000 refugees who have fled war and instability in neighbouring countries. The overwhelming majority are from Somalia. It is the world’s most populous refugee camp, but also a source of political tension and, according to Kenyan authorities, insecurity. Kenya has been advocating for Dadaab to be closed or relocated. However, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHRC) Head of Operations for Dadaab, Denis Alma Kuindje, this is easier said than done. He spoke to the PSC Report ahead of a briefing by Kenya to the Peace and Security Council about its plans for Dadaab.

Dadaab has been operational for more than two decades. Do refugees and asylum seekers in Dadaab still require humanitarian assistance after all this time?

Refugees and asylum seekers in Dadaab rely solely on humanitarian assistance and any changes in the resources made available have a direct impact on their situation. Regarding food assistance in particular, refugees are currently receiving 30% less than what they should be getting.

What is the status of the voluntary repatriation programme? Are returnees outnumbering new arrivals?

The voluntary repatriation programme of Somali refugees willing to return is ongoing. So far, 3 424 refugees have been assisted in the framework of the voluntary return to Somalia. The UNHCR has so far provided assistance in the framework of the return to the following areas: Kismayo, Luuq, Baidoa and Mogadishu. Since 5 August 2015 return flights have been organised to Mogadishu, as return by air is the only means possible for returning to Mogadishu. Despite the signing of the tripartite agreement for the repatriation of Somali refugees (on 10 November 2013), and later on the adoption of a repatriation strategy as well as the repatriation plan, the UNHCR has not yet embarked on the promotion of returns to Somalia, as conditions are not yet conducive to returns in many areas.

Numbers should not be the primary consideration but rather the mechanisms established to enable those in need of international protection to benefit or continue to benefit from it; and those eager to return to Somalia to have access to an orderly, safe and dignified return. There has been a drop in the refugee population by approximately 6 000 persons between end-December 2014 and end-June 2015. More than half of [the refugees who left] went back to Somalia, following the start of the pilot phase on 8 December. Comparatively, 3 719 refugees were registered in July 2015 in Dadaab after the government lifted a moratorium on the registration of all new arrivals/unregistered in Dadaab in Kenya … Moreover, as per the latest position paper on return to southern and central Somalia (issued in June 2014), the UNHCR [condemns] any forced returns to those parts of Somalia.

Has the situation in Somalia improved sufficiently to contemplate a large-scale return of refugees?

Current conditions in Somalia do not enable a safe and dignified return to all parts of the country. For the time being, the UNHCR’s support is provided to those who express a clear and consistent willingness to return to Somalia. In collaboration with the UNHCR’s colleagues and partners based in Somalia, country of origin information is gathered, updated and shared with refugees. In order to facilitate access to information pertaining to the return as well as an informed decision about the return, ‘return help desks’ have been established in all five camps in Dadaab.

The UNHCR continuously monitors the situation in Somalia, where some activities – namely military – are potential game-changers, and will definitely consider embarking on the promotion of returns when conditions so permit, which will only be after a careful assessment.

What, exactly, are Kenya’s obligations to Dadaab’s population under international law?

Kenya is a state party to major refugee and human rights instruments and in that regard, [should] abide by obligations enshrined in these instruments. Kenya is a state party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol, as well as the 1969 OAU [Organization of African Unity] Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. Besides refugee-specific instruments, provisions of various human rights instruments to which Kenya is a state party are also relevant, as standards enshrined therein equally apply to refugees in Kenya as they ineluctably fall within the jurisdiction of this country.

As country of asylum and state party to relevant international instruments relating to the protection of refugees and human rights in general, Kenya is primarily in charge of guaranteeing the protection of and assistance to refugees, and of finding durable solutions to their problem, with the support of the international community, including the UNHCR, which has a supervisory role (cf. Article 35 of the 1951 Convention). In that regard, the onus is chiefly on the country of asylum to ensure that refugees’ rights enshrined in relevant instruments are met.

Refugees also have obligations, as highlighted in the 1951 Convention (namely in Article 2 or to some extent Article 32, paragraph 2, which condones expulsion under specific conditions) and the OAU Convention of 1969 (Article 3).

How have other countries handled large refugee populations? Is there a model for resettling or integrating refugee populations that Kenya could follow?

The first leg of this question is very broad, making it difficult to answer in a concise manner. Yet various resources that are available either on the UNHCR website or elsewhere online highlight approaches adopted in response to large refugee influxes, which most often carry along additional challenges. Nonetheless, an increased commitment of the country of asylum and strengthened support of the international community are essential.

The UNHCR cannot pretend to point out models that Kenya should follow. However, it can be underscored that some countries, such as the United States, Australia, Canada and Sweden, among others, have been performing well when it comes to opening their doors to refugees via the resettlement programme. Regarding local integration, Tanzania can be praised for having committed to locally integrate thousands of Burundian refugees who have been living there for decades.

The Tripartite Commission was established to deal with the question of Dadaab’s future. It comprises representatives from the UNHCR and the governments of Kenya and Somalia. Is this an effective mechanism?

The Tripartite Commission is a mechanism whose role is critical … The last meeting of the Tripartite Commission was organised on 29 July 2015 in Nairobi. At that occasion, the Tripartite Commission adopted the repatriation strategy and the operational plan relating to the repatriation of Somali refugees, which will reinforce the framework relating to this process. The Tripartite Commission also adopted the tentative list of projects that will be submitted during the pledging conference scheduled for October in Brussels, in order to support the return and reintegration of Somali refugees. With the scale-up of voluntary returns to Somalia, the Tripartite Commission may meet more frequently and therefore will continue to play a prominent role.

As voluntary return remains one of the three durable solutions to the problem of refugees, even the main one among the three [others include resettlement in other countries, and integration into Kenyan society], it goes without saying that the role of the Tripartite Commission when it comes to shaping the future of Somali refugees in Dadaab is important.

World: WFP Aviation Operational Snapshot, January - June 2015

4 hours 58 min ago
Source: World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, World, Yemen

Between January and June 2015, UNHAS operated flights in 17 countries, serving more than 300 scheduled destinations.

More than 3,400 mt of cargo airlifted — One third transported in response to the EVD outbreak


To reach the most vulnerable in some of the world's most remote and challenging locations, airdrops for life-saving food deliveries are organized as a last resort. In May, the World Food Programme (WFP) carried out its first successful airdrop of vegetable oil in South Sudan.

WFP Aviation arranges airlifts to ensure vital humanitarian cargo reaches populations in need promptly. In April, following escalation of violence in Yemen, essential medical items were airlifted from the United Arab Emirates to Sana’a (via Djibouti) on behalf of the humanitarian community.

Somalia: More reproductive health services for the underserved in Somalia

5 hours 49 min ago
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Somalia

In its quest to reach the underserved with reproductive health services, UNFPA Somalia is providing technical and financial support to ministries of health in South Central, Somaliland and Puntland to carry out Integrated Community Reproductive Health Outreach Campaigns, which offer a wide range of reproductive health services.

The services include antenatal and postnatal care, referral of obstetric fistula cases and other complications, HIV and STI screening and treatment, demand creation for reproductive health services including modern birth spacing and addressing female genital mutilations and other cases related to gender-based violence.

Behavioural Change Communication and Family Planning analyst for UNFPA Somalia, Dr. Layla Mohammed Hashi, who is fairly new to UNFPA, undertook her first mission to an outreach camp organised in Borama, Somaliland at the end of August.

"I was very excited as I prepared for the mission and I had to keep on reviewing on what I would tell the people I was going to meet at the campaign," said Dr. Hashi.

She said she was impressed to see many women, most of them carrying little children, who had gathered to access reproductive health services.

"Many came out of curiosity and they were not sure of what reproductive health services were being offered. There were many others who did not understand the benefits of reproductive health services and I took time to counsel them on these," Dr. Hashi said.

She said many women had misinterpreted Islamic teachings as stopping them to access birth spacing methods.

"Many women said Islamic teachings do not accept birth spacing. As a Moslem myself I had to explain that is every woman's right to get some rest after giving birth before getting pregnant again. I also told them that it is the right of every child to have maximum attention from their mothers when they are babies and that this is only possible if the mothers do not give birth too frequently. Love is a right given by Allah for us as women and for our children," she said.

Dr. Hashi also sensitised the women that breastfeeding is not an effective way for preventing pregnancy and that they needed to access modern ways of birth spacing.

She said the Integrated Community Reproductive Health Outreach Campaigns are one of the best approaches to reaching underserved communities with reproductive health services since the health specialists take the services to the people instead of having the people seek out the services.Motherhood can be a dangerous enterprisre in Somalia, where almost three decades of conflict have left the health system in tatters. There are about 1.1 million displaced people in Somalia, many of them living in camps.

Over a Somali woman's lifetime, she will face a one in 18 chance of dying from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth - the second highest lifetime maternal death risk in the world. The situation is grim for children, as well: Somalia has the world's fourth highest child mortality rate.

By Pilirani Semu-Banda:UNFPA Somalia Communication Specialist

Somalia: Somalia: Flood Inundation Risks (4 Aug 2015)

31 August 2015 - 11:22pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia

Somalia: Somalia: Flood Prone Areas (4 Aug 2015)

31 August 2015 - 11:19pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Somalia

Somalia: Somalia: WASH Cluster Activities Completed (January - July 2015)

31 August 2015 - 11:09pm
Source: UN Children's Fund, WASH Cluster Country: Somalia

Somalia: Somalia: WASH Cluster Activities Ongoing (January - July 2015)

31 August 2015 - 11:05pm
Source: UN Children's Fund, WASH Cluster Country: Somalia

Kenya: East Africa Price Bulletin August 2015

31 August 2015 - 10:17pm
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.

Staple Food Markets in East Africa: White maize is the main staple grain consumed in Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. In Uganda, white maize is grown mainly as a commercial crop for export in the region. Imported rice is a major staple for Djibouti and Somalia, which mainly consume belem—the imported red rice. Tanzania is also a major producer and source of rice in the region while Kenya and Uganda are minor producers. Both red and white sorghum are produced and consumed in the region. This is an important staple in Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia as well as in other marginal agricultural areas of the region. It is also a substitute cereal among the rural poor. Red sorghum is mainly grown in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia, and is the preferred type for households in Djibouti. Beans are an important source of protein and a complementary food crop grown in the high potential agricultural areas of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia. It is consumed across household types. Maize and beans are the most heavily traded commodities in the region. The cooking banana–matoke is the primary staple in Uganda. Uganda is also a main source of cooking and other types of bananas traded in the region especially in Southern Sudan. However, bananas are not traded nearly as heavily as maize or beans.

Somalia: Somalia - Estimated Nutrition Situation (GAM) - Projection: September - October 2015

31 August 2015 - 9:54pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

Somalia: Somalia - Estimated Nutrition Situation (GAM) - August, 2015 (Based on May - July, 2015 surveys)

31 August 2015 - 9:49pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

Somalia: Somalia Acute Food Security Situation Overview - Rural, Urban and IDP Populations: August - December 2015, Most likely Scenario

31 August 2015 - 9:46pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

Somalia: Somalia Acute Food Security Situation Overview - Rural, Urban and IDP Populations: July 2015

31 August 2015 - 9:42pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

World: Field Exchange No. 50 (August 2015)

31 August 2015 - 1:57pm
Source: Emergency Nutrition Network Country: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World


As this half centenary issue of Field Exchange contains a number of guest editorials by individuals who were involved in Field Exchange from the start, we are going to keep this one short. It is pretty much 20 years since the idea of a Field Exchange and the ENN was mooted at an inter-agency conference in Addis Ababa. A throw away comment by Helen Young at the meeting planted the seed of an idea; Helen remarked that the Addis meeting was unusually productive as it brought together field practitioners, academics and donors who could all learn from each-other and wouldn’t it be great if we could find a forum to enable this kind of ‘exchange’ to take place more regularly. The acorn tree that is now Field Exchange and the ENN grew from this one comment.

For the editors of Field Exchange, there has always been one core principle that has held sway. It is that the written word has unique value. Emerging from the ashes of the Great Lakes emergency in 1994/5 where mistakes and learning from previous decades appear not to have been heeded, Field Exchange was predicated on the realisation that institutional memory is fragile and that the written word can uniquely preserve learning. There is nothing wrong with the ‘oral tradition’ but memories are fallible in a way that the written word is not.

Over the 20 years of editing Field Exchange, we have also come to see how the process of writing up field experiences adds value. Those who put pen to paper are compelled to organize their thoughts and learning logically, to self-examine and to make only claims or recommendations that can be supported by written evidence which in turn can be scrutinised by others. Elements of learning that take place through the writing process would almost certainly not occur if simply recounted orally. The written word promotes accountability for what is said. Furthermore, it enables dissemination of learning at scale. The ENN has also learnt that even in situations where draft articles are withdrawn from publication (very othen for reasons of sensitivity and risk to programmers), the very process of writing has enabled the authors(s) and their organisation(s) to learn from the programme experience even though this learning may not be disseminated more widely.

Whether the written word appears in print or digitally is perhaps less important but is still relevant. Many of our readers only have limited or expensive online access. Furthermore, it is notable (if not a little surprising) to find in Field Exchange evaluations that our readers still have a strong attachment to the hard copy even when they have online access. Flicking through the pages of Field Exchange in a life that is dominated by ‘screen time’ for many may well be a welcome relief and a better reading (and learning) experience. We, of course, now produce Field Exchange (and its sister publication Nutrition Exchange) both in print, e-copy and online: we also plan to embrace multi-media developments, which may allow for wider and cheaper dissemination to our readership Over the years, the ENN has expanded into a range of activities including technical reviews, operational research, technical meeting facilitation, and development of guidance and training material.

Our activities are largely informed by from the privileged overview of the sector we obtain through pulling together Field Exchange. This expanded scope of work is thus a product of your work in contributing to the publication. Field Exchange has therefore been, and remains, the cornerstone of what ENN does.

On to the edition in hand; as ever, we have a wide range of articles covering innovations and challenges in programming. A special section looks at lessons and plans for delivering treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) at scale in Northern Nigeria, with three articles by UNICEF/ACF/Mark Myatt; ACF; and Results for Development (R4D) on the topics of coverage, costs, cost-effectiveness and financial sustainability of CMAM. This includes a proposed sampling based approach to estimate the number of deaths averted by the Nigerian CMAM programme which is accompanied by two ‘peer review’ postscripts.

An editorial by CIFF, a lead investor in the Northern Nigerian CMAM programming, introduces the section. Also on the theme of CMAM in Nigeria, an article by MSF documents malnutrition peaks associated with malaria peaks and highlights the fact that medical care typically does not come under CMAM funding, is implemented by different ministries and agencies and is often under resourced.

The logistical challenges of nutrition programming are reflected in an article from South Sudan by ACF, UNICEF and CDC, which describes the technical innovations that enabled nutrition surveillance in a vulnerable but quite inaccessible population. The response to flooding in Malawi in early 2015 is the topic of another article around CMAM by Concern. Whilst providing immediate support, they found lack of surge capacity and sub-standard existing SAM treatment services, despite longstanding external investment in the recent past. How to sustain long term CMAM programming once the NGOs ‘go home’, remains the 'million dollar question'.

At the other end of the spectrum, an article by Help Age International describes the burden of care and experiences of non-communicable disease (NCD) programming in Lebanon amongst older Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese. It reflects there is progress but a lot yet to be done to meet NCD and associated nutrition needs in humanitarian programming. The remaining articles cover a range of topics – infant feeding support in the Philippines from the perspective of a local NGO responding to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013; experiences of the Sustainable Nutrition and Agriculture Promotion (SNAP) programme in the Ebola response in Sierra Leone authored by IMC and ACDI-VOCA; and UNICEF experiences of a combined SMARTSQUEAC survey in Chad that saved on time and costs.

We have a run on views pieces in this edition, as well as a rich mixture of research summaries.

An article by Ajay Kumar Sinha, Dolon Bhattacharyya and Raj Bhandari on the challenges of undernutrition in India provides a fascinating insight into the complexities of national and sub-national programming and highlights the need for coordinated actions. India also features in a research summary from MSF that shares great insights into community perceptions and behaviour around SAM treatment in Bihar. Resilience and nutrition is the topic of an article by Jan Eijkenaar which provides insights into the ECHO funded Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative in the Sahel. There are also some must read articles on accountability to affected populations, a topic that hasn’t featured strongly in Field Exchange in the past and to which we all too easily pay ‘lip service’. One piece describes ground breaking work in the Philippines by Margie Buchanan-Smith et al and the other is a very personal but experience based viewpoint by Andy Featherstone on progress and pitfalls around accountability over the last 20 years or so.

As a final word, we would like to thank all those authors who have written material for Field Exchange in the past and encourage those who are thinking about writing in the future to get in touch with us to discuss potential topics. We are here to support you in many different ways, from a ‘brainstorming’ conversation to review of a fledgling idea to editing. In this issue, we’ve included a guide to the process to help. Over the years, our content has become more ‘technical’ but we welcome more informal contributions too; it is great to see a few letters in this edition and we would love to receive more.

We would also like to thank our many readers for taking an interest in the publication and sincerely hope that the hard won experiences and learning that appear in Field Exchange quickly and positively continue to inform your personal practice and agency programming for the benefit of those with whom you work. So here is Field Exchange 50 – Enjoy!

Jeremy Shoham & Marie McGrath Field Exchange Co-editors

Kenya: Kenya: Kakuma Camp Population Statistics (as of 30 Aug 2015)

31 August 2015 - 1:04pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan

Somalia: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator on the presentation of the Post-Gu food and nutrition assessment

31 August 2015 - 12:13pm
Source: UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Country: Somalia

Thank you very much. My name is Peter de Clercq and I am the Humanitarian Coordinator here in Somalia.

Thank you very much to the representatives of Somali and international media for joining us today, for this briefing on this latest assessment, and also for a response on questions around the situation in Somalia more broadly.

Also, thanks of course also to our colleagues in FAO, and to the colleagues in the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for this overview of the new food security findings in Somalia.

My first main message would be that the humanitarian situation remains very fragile. The crisis in Somalia is still among the largest, most protracted and most complex emergencies in the world today. The results of the assessment, that we just heard, indicate that the food and nutritional situation in Somalia continues to be of serious concern.

The number of people in need of food and nutrition assistance has in fact increased since the post-Deyr assessment released in January, from 3 million to approximately 3.1 million. Particularly worrying, as compared to six months ago when we saw a slight improvement, is that the number of people facing crisis or emergency has now increased by 17 per cent — from 731,000 to 855,000 persons.

The humanitarian situation remains very fragile, with critical levels of vulnerability. Thanks to sustained humanitarian assistance in Somalia to the most vulnerable, we have been able to prevent the situation from getting even worse, but more needs to be done to address underlying causes, and I will come to that in a moment.

The situation, as we heard in the presentation just now, among internally displaced people is particularly worrying. More than two thirds, or 68 per cent, of the people who are in crisis and emergency are internally displaced.

My second message is that the outlook is also not giving us cause for optimism. Malnutrition continues to be pervasive and the situation is currently getting worse. Malnutrition rates are in fact going to increase before the end of the year, due to below-average cereal production and poor rainfall in some pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, trade disruption of course in the most conflict-affected areas, and continued displacement, which I already referred to.

More than 210,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, of whom almost 40,000 are severely malnourished and therefore face a high risk of disease and death. In settlements for internally displaced persons, global acute malnutrition rates are consistently above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent.

The coming months will in fact be critical. The El Niño phenomenon is very likely to occur and affect us in the next few months. Floods could potentially affect more than 600,000 people in south-central Somalia and in Puntland. This could lead to further deterioration of the food security and nutritional situation and could also increase disease, loss of crops and property. In Somaliland, the El Niño phenomenon is likely to exacerbate drought conditions, also with severe impact on livelihoods.

Displaced persons, as I mentioned, are particularly vulnerable and exposed to exploitation and abuse. The IDPs are increasingly subjected to forced evictions, especially in urban areas such as Mogadishu.

The displacement of 20,000 civilians in areas affected by military offensives against Al-Shabaab since July, and the arrival of almost 30,000 people from Yemen since March, puts further burden on already stretched humanitarian resources in this country.

The humanitarian challenges, achievements and way forward... The volatile security situation has deteriorated since the beginning of the year, making the delivery of assistance to people in need even more dangerous. Attacks and threats against humanitarian personnel and property are unfortunately on the increase. In the first seven months of 2015 alone, 60 security incidents involving humanitarians led to the death of 7 humanitarian workers, injury of 14, abduction of 5 and arrest and detention of 30 humanitarian aid workers.

Humanitarian action has nevertheless been sustained and had a positive impact on the lives of millions of Somalis. In the first six months of 2015 alone, humanitarian partners reached 408,000 people with activities aimed at improving livelihoods, and 335,000 people with food assistance alone. About 116,000 children under the age of five were treated for acute malnutrition. About 895,000 Somalis have been reached with basic health services, while 538,000 were provided with temporary or sustainable access to safe water. Since the start of the year, 450,000 people benefited from hygiene promotion sessions or hygiene kits. And another piece of good news is that earlier this month, Somalia marked one year without any reported cases of polio thanks to massive vaccination campaigns. And all this is very encouraging news indeed.

Humanitarian donors have been very generous with Somalia for many many years. However, with the amount of resources we currently have available, which amount to just over 30 per cent of the actual requirements of the Humanitarian Response Plan, we will not be able to stabilize, let alone substantially reduce, the number of people in need. Further efforts are urgently needed to save lives and to build resilience, not least in view of the potential implications of the El Niño effect that is going to hit us very very soon.

My most important message today actually would be that while saving lives and livelihoods continues to be very important, we must simultaneously also address underlying causes. Most of the underlying causes of Somalia’s protracted crisis remain unresolved, and the sobering reality is that any shock could plunge Somalia into another devastating emergency.

We therefore need to ensure that the critical vulnerability levels are brought down, and that we reduce the risk of having far too many people slide back into crisis. Despite the huge costs and insecurity faced by humanitarian actors in Somalia, there is a clear determination by donors and by humanitarian actors alike to work in partnership with the authorities towards achieving these goals.

We must continue to sustain the humanitarian response to allow more people to get back on their feet and to be able to endure future shocks. This holds particularly true for Somalia’s 1.1 million displaced persons, who need to be better protected and supported in finding durable solutions. At the same time we need to give due attention to underlying causes that are prolonging the crisis in which they find themselves.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2015 focuses on life-saving assistance, improved protection and strengthening resilience of the most vulnerable to sustain future shocks. In the coming months and years, it will be critical to complement this work by better addressing the underlying causes of the crisis. With the establishment of the Federal Government and the ongoing implementation of the New Deal compact, there are new opportunities for stronger linkages between humanitarian programmes and developmental longer-term solutions. Only through greater complementarity between the Humanitarian Response Plan and the Somalia “New Deal” compact, we can help address some of these underlying causes of the humanitarian crisis.

We need your help to keep Somalia on the radar screen, and to giving a voice to those in need in Somalia. Your help is essential for allowing us to do everything we can, to prevent another humanitarian crisis that could undermine the gains made to put Somalia on the right track towards a more prosperous and peaceful future.

Thank you very much.

Mogadishu, 31 August 2015

For further information, please contact: Maurizio Giuliano, Public Information Officer a.i., OCHA Somalia,, +254-738-999985

World: Polio this week as of 26 August 2015

31 August 2015 - 10:59am
Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

The Expert Review Committee met in Nigeria last week to review the progress made in Nigeria, identify ways to strengthen the gains of the last few years and identify the major risks to stopping polio across the country. More

A project to improve access to hard-to-reach (HTR) populations in Nigeria with polio vaccines is having a dramatic impact on the broader health needs of remote communities, demonstrating the legacy of polio eradication in action. More

Through a series of photographs, meet religious leaders, health care workers, volunteers, vaccinators, programme monitors and parents as they play their unique roles in protecting children across Afghanistan from polio.

Kenya: Kenya - Kakuma Refugee Camp: Weekly New Registration Population Composition 23rd- 29th Aug 2015

31 August 2015 - 9:25am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda

Somalia: Over one million people in Somalia face acute food insecurity as food crisis worsens

31 August 2015 - 9:13am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network, Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Country: Somalia

In Somalia some 855,000 people face acute food insecurity

Situation is likely to worsen during October-December rainy season

Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) Technical release

August 31, 2015, Nairobi/Washington - Widespread acute malnutrition persists across Somalia and large numbers of people will be acutely food insecure through December 2015, following below average cereal harvests in crop dependent areas; poor rainfall in some pastoral and agropastoral areas; trade disruption in some southern urban areas due to insurgent activities; and new and continued population displacement.

This situation is likely to be exacerbated by heavy downpours and flooding which typically happen during Deyr rainy season. These rains fall from October to December and, as is the case this year, are affected by El Niño.

An estimated 214,700 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished (39,700 of them severely malnourished) based on prevalence results from 39 nutrition surveys conducted from May to July 2015 by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and partners across Somalia.

The number of acutely and severely malnourished children is likely to increase to 343,400 and 63,400, respectively, through the end of the year. The severely malnourished face a high risk of morbidity and death.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Dhobley currently face a nutrition emergency as Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence has nearly doubled (from 11 percent in the Deyr rainy season in 2014/15 to 20.7 percent in the 2015 Gu rainy season) and is accompanied by critically high levels of Crude Death Rate-CDR (more than one person for every 10,000 each day). Internally Displaced People in Dollow have suffered a further deterioration in their nutrition situation since December 2014 with an increase in Critical levels of Global Acute Malnutrition (from 21.6 percent to 26.4 percent) along with an increase in both Crude Death Rates and Under-five Death Rates.

According to the latest findings from a joint countrywide seasonal assessment by FSNAU, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), and other partners, 855,000 people across Somalia will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4)* through December 2015. This figure represents a 17 percent increase over the estimate for February to June 2015.

Internally displaced persons constitute 68 percent of the total number of people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4), followed by rural (25 percent) and urban (7 percent) populations. Approximately 2.3 million additional people are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December 2015.

Populations in Emergency and Crisis (IPC Phases 4 and 3) need urgent lifesaving humanitarian assistance and livelihood support, including urgent nutrition and health support for the acutely malnourished between now and December 2015. Populations experiencing an acute food security Stressed (IPC Phase 2) situation remain highly vulnerable to shocks that could push them back into a food security Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4) situation..

The 2015 Gu season (April-June) rains started on time but ended early, in May, in most regions. Mostly as a result of early cessation of the rains in the main cropping areas of southern Somalia, overall cereal production, including off-season production expected in September, was 25 percent below the long-term average (1995-2014). In the Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zone, poor rainfall contributed to low production prospects, with the 2015 Gu-Karan cereal harvest (October-November) estimated at only 37 percent of the five-year average for 2010-2014. In the nearby Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, drought conditions have contributed to a severe water shortage and unusual livestock deaths.

In most pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones, livestock production and reproduction has continued to improve, contributing to improved food security outcomes. Further improvements are expected a result of better livestock performance in the forthcoming Deyr season.

As El Niño is expected to continue from October to December, flooding is more likely. This would have a negative impact on the food security of some riverine populations. Above average to average Deyr (October-December) rains are expected to lead to substantial improvement in food security conditions across most pastoral livelihood zones in central and southern Somalia. In northern pastoral areas, Deyr rains are expected to be below average to average, resulting in a moderate improvement in food security.

Areas and populations of concern

Populations in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) are priorities for food security and livelihoods support programming. People in this situation are found in large proportions (10 percent or more of total regional population) in the following regions: Banadir (42 percent), South Mudug (21 percent), Bari (21 percent), Awdal (13 percent), Lower Juba (13 percent), Woqooyi Galbeed (11 percent), and NorthMudug (10 percent).

Other priority groups include poor and vulnerable urban populations in the South that have been affected by trade disruption due to insurgent activities in Bulo Burto (Hiran Region) and Hudur and Wajid (Bakool Region).

As malnutrition rates are critical, the following livelihood zones and population groups are priorities for nutrition programming:

  • Pastoral, Agropastoral, and Riverine populations and Dollow IDPs in Gedo Region;
  • Beletweyne and Mataban Districts in Hiran Region;
  • Baidoa IDPs in Bay Region;
  • Dhobley IDPs in Lower Juba Region;
  • Garowe IDPs in Nugaal Region;
  • Galkayo IDPs in Mudug Region; and
  • Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Cowpea Belt Agropastoral livelihood zones of Mudug and Galgadud Regions.

In the drought-affected Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, acute food security Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will prevail. More livestock deaths are expected until the start of Deyr rains, which bring run-off water from the highlands, and Hays rains, which start in December.

**The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a set of tools and procedures to classify the severity of food insecurity using an widely accepted five-phase scale. At the area level, it divides areas into the following phases: IPC Phase 1=Minimal; Phase 2=Stressed; Phase 3=Crisis; Phase 4=Emergency; and Phase 5=Famine.*

This technical release was originally issued from Nairobi and Washington by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit - Somalia (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET).