Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia 2009

21 July 2009

During the six months following the launch of the 2009 Consolidated Appeal, significant changes occurred in the political arena while the humanitarian situation in Somalia remained much the same.  The overall food security situation in Somalia was the worst seen in 16 years and continued to deteriorate, with 43% of the population – 3.2 million people – remaining in need of humanitarian and livelihood assistance. 

While the 2009 Gu rains, which normally run from March to June, have started in many parts of the country, they have been erratic and insufficient to alleviate the water shortages in some areas, namely the north and centre of the country.  According to expert analysis, even in the event of good rainfall, the current food security situation in the hard-hit central regions of Somalia is not expected to change.

Somaliahas not been left untouched by the affects of the global economic downturn.  Remittances estimated at one billion dollars per year, normally a huge source of support for the Somali population, declined by as much as 15% due to the global recession and increased unemployment among the Somali diaspora.  In Somalia, the cost of a minimum basket of basic goods remains unaffordable and out of reach for many. 

Consequent shifts of humanitarian response strategy

Due to operational constraints, including growing insecurity, targeting of humanitarian workers, and limited funding, the humanitarian community has prioritized emergency relief activities over medium- and long-term humanitarian programming.  Despite this readjusted focus, the humanitarian response strategy and strategic objectives, as stated in the 2009 Somalia Consolidated Appeal (CAP), have not dramatically shifted.  The overall goal of providing humanitarian assistance through a sustainable and integrated approach remains valid.  The importance of continuing to support livelihoods in the current context of drought, livestock and asset loss, to prevent the further impoverishment of the Somali people, should be emphasized.  The four strategic objectives of the humanitarian community are to:

  1. provide humanitarian assistance to 3.2 million people in crisis (humanitarian emergency, acute food and livelihood crisis[1], new and protracted displaced people) through programmes for vulnerable populations with special focus on drought-affected rural areas, urban poor and internally displaced people (IDPs).  Of this total, 820,000 people in humanitarian emergency will be targeted for life-saving assistance;
  2. increase community and local capacity to protect social and economic assets in emergencies, through livelihood protection and asset transfer activities, across all programme sectors;
  3. develop and deliver an integrated minimum package of basic social services based on geographic specific priorities and target groups, engaging communities and authorities;
  4. strengthen the protective environment of civilians, with special focus on vulnerable populations, through advocacy, programming, and, where possible, community mobilization and access to services.

As of June 25, the Somalia Consolidated Appeal had received US$[2]421 million out of $849 million required and is 50% funded.  Under-funding was severe in the first months of 2009, but commitments of some $100 million between March and June helped support improvement in key clusters such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (funding increased from 2% to 19%), Nutrition (from 14% to 49%) and Health (from 2% to 12%).  At the time of the Mid-Year Review (MYR) last year, funding for the Somalia CAP was lower in absolute terms ($359 million), though higher in proportion to requirements (54%).

As a result of analysis done during the mid-year review, CAP requirements for the remainder of the year will be revised downwards by $70 million (8%) from the original target of $919 million.  (Between the CAP launch and this MYR, requirements had peaked at $984 million.) The main reductions come in the clusters of Agriculture and Livelihoods, Health, and Food Aid (due to the unfortunate withdrawal of a key food aid organization).  This revision reflects both revised priorities and what feasible targets are within the remainder of the appeal period.

Key achievements of humanitarian action

Early this year, a reduction in overall insecurity in South/Central Somalia led to a moderate improvement in humanitarian access which allowed aid organizations to re-establish and ramp up relief programmes.  Achievements made included: delivery of food to an average of two million people every month; provision of Plumpy‘doz to 120,000 children for the prevention of malnutrition; and treatment of more than 40,000 acutely malnourished children every month through 270 feeding programmes.  More than 100,000 children received emergency education support.  By the end of May 2009, nearly one million children under five and some 700,000 women of child-bearing age were reached in child health days (CHDs).  Some 300,000 people in acute food and livelihoods crisis or humanitarian emergency were supported through emergency livelihoods assistance.  All this was achieved in an environment in which humanitarian access had to be consistently negotiated. 

The persistent delay of humanitarian funding to the CAP 2009 and funding disparities among the clusters made it difficult to respond to prevailing needs with an integrated approach.  In fact,during the first quarter of the year life-saving nutrition and water and sanitation activities relied entirely on carry-over funds from 2008. 

In May and June, fighting broke out in Mogadishu and spread once more throughout South/Central Somalia resulting in new displacements and increased emergency needs. Responding to new displacements in volatile areas and simultaneously supporting returns in areas that are experiencing stability are amongst the main priorities for the remainder of the appeal period.  Assistance with non-food items (NFIs) and emergency shelter will continue to be required.  Health priorities will include supporting the expansion of primary and secondary health care as well as continuing CHDs.  The goal of maintaining the 270 emergency feeding programmes will be key to responding to the nutrition crisis, particularly in the hard-hit central regions.  Furthermore, expanding sustainable water programmes will be essential given the prevailing drought conditions.  Concurrently, continuing and expanding livelihood support activities and providing support to the re-establishment of livelihoods for displaced people and poor pastoralist households in central Somalia will be a priority of the Livelihoods Cluster.  In the Education Cluster, priorities include pre-positioning school kits, tents and learning materials, particularly in South/Central Somalia, and providing incentives to teachers to meet the needs of IDP communities.  This will have the additional benefit of providing ‘safe spaces’ and protection for vulnerable children.  Monitoring and evaluation capacity needs to be built up significantly, in order to properly evaluate the impact of programming and direct future interventions.  In order to enable wider humanitarian access to critical areas, the negotiation capacity of humanitarian partners must be bolstered.


[1]Humanitarian emergency (HE) is defined in Somalia as: severe lack of access to food with excess mortality, very high and increasing malnutrition and irreversible livelihood asset-stripping. (Food Security Nutrition and Analysis Unit / FSNAU – Somalia)

Acute food and livelihood crisis (AFLC) is defined as: highly stressed and critical lack of food access with high and above-usual malnutrition and accelerated depletion of livelihood assets that, if continued, will slide the population into Phase 4 or 5 of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and/or likely result in chronic poverty. (FSNAU – Somalia)

[2]All dollar signs in this document denote United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@reliefweb.int), which will display its requirements and funding on the current appeals page. 

Document History

21 July 2009

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