Consolidated Appeal for Somalia 2008

10 December 2007

Following a series of shocks in the first half of 2007, Somalia has experienced a drastic deterioration in the humanitarian situation.  The spring Gu rains of 2007 performed poorly, while violence in Mogadishu escalated, giving rise to massive displacement.  These two devastating developments unfolded in the context of a long-standing humanitarian emergency and a sixteen-year absence of effective central government and basic social services.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization/Food Security Analysis Unit post-Gu Assessment, 1.5 million people are in need of assistance and protection, an increase of 50% since the start of 2007. 

As 2006 came to a close, the livelihoods and food security situation showed signs of improvement.  However, the conflict and tensions of early 2007 quickly reversed any improvements in food security.  In January, Transitional Federal Government troops, backed by Ethiopian forces, took control of much of South/Central Somalia from the Islamic Courts Union.  Despite hopes that the arrival of the Transitional Federal Government would establish law and order in the capital, violence subsequently escalated between insurgents and Transitional Federal Government/Ethiopian forces.  Despite political efforts, the cycle of violence shows no signs of abating.  The fighting has been the worst since the civil war of the early 1990s; hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands more have been injured, with human rights abuses committed by all sides.  The conflict has caused massive displacement from Mogadishu.  As of 1 November, there are an estimated 450,000 new internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, in addition to the estimated 400,000 protracted IDPs. 

Following Security Council Resolution 1744, African Union Mission in Somalia troops arrived in the country in March 2007.  The Mission’s mandate was extended in August for another six months, whilst Security Council discussions continue on the possibility of a United Nations peace-keeping mission to Somalia.  In July and August, the Transitional Federal Government held a forty-five-day National Reconciliation Conference in Mogadishu, bringing together over 2,000 representatives from throughout Somalia.  In the relatively stable zones of Puntland and Somaliland, violence erupted in October over the disputed regions of Sool and Sanaag, displacing well over 20,000 people; insecurity in South/Central and other factors have the potential to further destabilise either or both of the northern zones. 

Somalia is thus in the midst of both a new crisis and the chronic humanitarian emergency that has gripped the country for years.  The combined effects of poor Gu rains, conflict, displacement and diarrhoeal diseases have severely exacerbated the food security situation and caused an alarming rise in acute malnutrition rates.  The deterioration in the nutrition situation has been particularly marked in regions that absorbed large numbers of conflict-related IDPs – namely, Lower and Middle Shabelle, traditionally the most agriculturally productive areas.  An estimated 83,000 children are moderately or severely malnourished in South/Central, a figure that excludes IDPs, among whom malnutrition rates are often higher.  These children are at increased risk of death in a country where, already, one in 12 children will die before his or her first birthday and one in seven will die before reaching the age of five. 

Given the current humanitarian situation in Somalia, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have agreed upon three strategic priorities to guide humanitarian action in 2008:

  • Save lives and provide assistance to 1.5 million people identified as being in a state of Humanitarian Emergency or Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis[1] or as internally displaced, including an estimated 400,000 protracted IDPs and approximately 450,000 newly displaced;
  • Improve the protection of, and respect for, the human rights and dignity of vulnerable populations – with a special focus on IDPs, women, children, victims of trafficking, and marginalised groups – through effective advocacy and the application of a rights-based approach across all sectors;
  • Strengthen local capacity for delivery of basic social services and for disaster preparedness and response.

In the coming year, humanitarian partners have committed to strengthening an integrated multi-sectoral approach in Somalia.  Geographic priority areas have been identified and coordinated actions will focus on these.  The urgent need for an integrated approach to emergency operations and disaster risk mitigation is underscored by the deteriorating malnutrition situation and chronic nutrition crisis.  As malnutrition is multi-causal, it must be addressed in a coordinated manner that includes feeding centres, primary health care, access to clean water, livelihoods support, education and finding durable solutions to recurring vulnerabilities.  Additionally, the humanitarian community will continue to focus on building technical and operational capacity of Somali partners, enabling a more sustained delivery of assistance and services in a continually volatile operating environment in which levels of access are either limited or are subject to change. 

Long-standing obstacles to humanitarian access continue – including extortion, piracy and roadblocks – while new obstacles and threats are increasing.  Humanitarian workers have been harassed and arrested and now face dangers such as roadside bombs.  More than 30 security incidents targeting United Nations staff or assets were recorded between April and September, while NGOs recorded 37 incidents in which they were directly targeted between January and September.  Both United Nations agencies and international NGOs report that national staff are being increasingly targeted.  In order to improve the conditions for provision of humanitarian assistance and protection, and to raise the profile of Somalia internationally, humanitarian partners will increase advocacy efforts across all sectors in 2008. The humanitarian community must do all that it can to ensure that Somalia does not become a forgotten crisis.  However, humanitarian action can have a lasting impact and form a basis for early recovery only if security improves and real progress is made in the reconciliation process. 

Unlike the 2007 CAP, the 2008 CAP does not contain an Early Recovery Pillar.  Emergency assistance and early recovery/development will be bridged through the CAP’s complementarity with the United Nations Transition Plan.  The latter  covers 2008-2009 and is the UN framework for planning and implementing recovery and reconstruction, supporting the transition to normalisation and ownership of development, and bringing Somalia out of chronic humanitarian emergency. 

The 2008 Consolidated Appeal for Somalia seeks $406,235,651 for 155 projects from 13 United Nations agencies, 28 International NGOs and 21 Local NGOs.  Partners have indicated that $26,528,117 is already available for their proposed projects, leaving an outstanding requirement of $379,707,534.  Just over $46 million of this total is for 22 projects also included in the UNTP; these are flagged as such throughout the CAP document. CAP projects fall within the nine clusters of Access and Security; Agriculture and Livelihoods; Education; Food Security; Health; Nutrition; Protection; Shelter; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), the two support sectors of Logistics and Coordination, and the areas of Emergency Preparedness and Multi-sector for refugees and returnees.  Cross-cutting issues of gender and HIV/AIDS have been integrated into sectoral strategies as appropriate.  The need for balanced sectoral funding is more relevant than ever to enable greater integration of response in 2008 to address chronic humanitarian crises.  Long-term funding commitments are also needed if partners are to address underlying causes of such crises as well as emergency needs.   

[1]See Annex I: Integrated Food Security and Humanitarian Phase Classification Reference Table for definition of these classifications


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10 December 2007

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