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Somalia

Highlights

  • Coordinated response to continuing high humanitarian needs against an increasingly difficult political, security and funding background.
  • Supported key HCT and UNCT policy initiatives, including IASC Ground Rules for Negotiations and UNCT Policy on Humanitarian Engagement.
  • Successfully advocated the use of Gaalkacyo as an operations hub, which raised the profile of IDP needs, and facilitated coordination, inter-agency assessments and humanitarian response in Central Somalia.
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OCHA Somalia worked against a background of increasing violence and breakdown in 2009. Serious fighting broke out in Mogadishu in May, forcing the displacement of 100,000 people by the first week of June. Sporadic fighting continued in Mogadishu throughout the year.

The violence spread to several major towns in South/Central Somalia. The renewed hostilities aggravated an already dire humanitarian situation, particularly in terms of shelter and food aid. Rains were erratic and insufficient. In addition, due to escalating threats and attacks against its staff and unacceptable demands by armed groups, WFP later suspended its work in much of Southern Somalia, impeding nutrition coverage in certain critical areas.

Due to operational constraints and limited funding, OCHA and humanitarian partners prioritized emergency relief activities over medium- and long-term humanitarian programming. However, strategic objectives remained the same, with a strong focus on a sustainable and integrated approach.

OCHA helped oversee improved information gathering from the field and its prompt dissemination, particularly on the humanitarian consequences of flooding and fighting in Mogadishu in May.OCHA Somalia made improved partnerships and coordination its key priorities in 2009. OCHA helped the HCT work towards stronger agenda setting, decision-making, monitoring activities and policy guidance. OCHA ensured regular meetings between the HCT and the Inter-Cluster Working Group to improve decision-making on response. The HCT, chaired by the HC and comprising seven NGO and seven United Nations members, met twice a month. OCHA supported the development and monitoring of the HC Compact with the ERC, which is fully aligned with the OCHA Somalia work plan and CAP processes.

OCHA strengthened the HRF, streamlining the project review process based on lessons learned, and piloted a monitoring system for the HRF. All projects were reviewed by the cluster chairs to ensure they were in accordance with cluster priorities and technical guidelines. Several clusters established review committees to ensure transparent and inclusive proposal review. Cluster coordination improved in Nairobi and at the field level, aided by the recruitment of national cluster support officers and the establishment of clear leadership.

Two major donors significantly reduced CAP funding for reasons connected to attitudes to the al-Shabaab group. Despite this, sustained advocacy led to a broader donor base with funds secured through CERF and the HRF.

The HRF received $16.6 million in 2009, up from $12 million in 2008, and supported 52 projects, with an increase in national organizations funded. The CAP mobilized $542 million in 2009, up from $477 million in 2008. Work on establishing a CHF continued and should be rolled out in 2010.OCHA Somalia worked to ensure the protection of civilians through more responsive programming, community mobilization and access to services. OCHA co-chaired the Protection Cluster and supported the establishment of four focal points on PSEA networks in Somalia. The UNCT developed and signed an inter-agency protocol document and Code of Conduct on PSEA. The IASC’s ground rules on negotiation were approved in April 2009 with OCHA’s support.

A common approach was adopted on needs assessments and impact evaluation. A monitoring strategy was included in the CAP and, for the first time, CAP strategic objectives with specific indicators were monitored by the HCT. Quarterly inter-cluster reports were produced and a monitoring strategy was developed and piloted for the HRF.

The quality and usefulness of IM tools improved significantly, based largely on the work of NCSOs trained in IM and systems. A 3W system was developed by region and cluster, based on improved quality and regularity of information available.

By December 2009, eight out of nine clusters had submitted standardized 3W information. Hits on OCHA Somalia’s website increased by 22 per cent in 2009.Significant progress was made against the OCHA Gender Action Plan indicators. Staff received training in gender awareness, mainstreaming gender concerns, PSEA and the Framework for Gender Equality Programming. Sex- and age-disaggregated data were used in situation reports when available. OCHA supported the development of a common gender indicator across clusters in 2009, to be continued in the CAP 2010.

OCHA Somalia continued to collaborate and coordinate effectively with the RCO in Nairobi. As part of the process of developing the Consolidated Appeal 2010, projects were jointly analysed to ensure careful delineation between humanitarian response initiatives and recovery and development activities that fall within the United Nations Transition Programme (managed by the RCO). Priority areas of unfinished business included the review of the HCT ToR to align it with the Global IASC Guidance Note on HCTs and CHF implementation.