Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia 2010
Delivering humanitarian aid in Somalia has been extremely challenging in terms of humanitarian access, insecurity, funding and the overall environment for humanitarian action. The 2010 appeal was designed to address and respond to the following main humanitarian concerns: 1) the consequences of several consecutive seasons of protracted drought; 2) the massive population displacement and widespread human rights violations suffered by civilians due to ongoing conflict in the centre and south; 3) the rising vulnerability of rural and urban peoples; 4) the widespread risk of increasing malnutrition throughout the country; and 5) very limited access and continued extreme insecurity. All of this occurred in a fragile political and security situation, coupled with a weak economy.
Mid-way through 2010, a widespread humanitarian crisis persists in Somalia, with 3.2 million people (43% of the total population) in need of humanitarian aid. This includes 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs), including an estimated 200,000 people (of whom 100,000 are from Mogadishu alone) displaced countrywide since the beginning of the year. One in six Somali children is malnourished, with the number rising to one in five in south-central regions. By mid-year, drought had been replaced with severe flooding in the riverine areas in southern Somalia. Somali refugees continue crossing the border into neighbouring countries, and conflict along the border regions has flared up. This highlights the regional dimension of the crisis.
While needs have not decreased in the first half of 2010, changes in the operating context have forced a dramatic shift in the humanitarian response strategy. This shift is due to three main factors: 1) continued reduction in access to areas and populations in greatest need; 2) reduced overall humanitarian funding; and 3) an atmosphere of increased scrutiny and expectation for humanitarian operators. In the first quarter of 2010, the humanitarian community has had to deal with questions regarding suspended and ongoing aid activities (following the forced temporary suspension of WFP food distributions in most of southern and parts of central Somalia); low funding for key non-food clusters; and issues related to risk management. This has occurred in a complex and dangerous environment characterized by escalating violence, and by ongoing hostilities in the central regions, Mogadishu, and the border areas with Ethiopia and Kenya. This has added to fears of a large-scale offensive that would cause further loss of life, injury and displacement.
Humanitarian actors have focused on maintaining a lifeline of support to the most vulnerable people in Somalia. Systems to deal with the risks of aid diversion have been put in place by all United Nations (UN) agencies operational in Somalia to ensure the maximum amount of aid reaches where it is most needed. Even with the forced suspension of WFP projects in a large swathe of southern Somalia, food to provide 80,000 meals every day plus rations for 260,000 is continuing in Mogadishu. Throughout Somalia, the Food Cluster aims to provide food assistance to 1.95 million people through relief distribution, nutrition interventions, school meals and recovery food-for-work projects. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the UN are continuing with other forms of assistance in health, water, nutrition, education and protection. For example, nearly 94,000 acutely malnourished people benefited from selected feeding and nearly 83,000 children continued to benefit from school feeding programmes. Eighty-eight new sites to implement blanket supplementary feeding were established in Mudug and Galgaduud regions, serving nearly 80,000 children monthly. Despite limited funding, nearly 110,000 children received emergency education. 90% of outbreak rumours were investigated and responded to within 96 hours. Approximately 1.3 million people, both IDPs and drought-affected populations, benefited from safe water.
In this context of increasing complexity, fears of politicization of humanitarian aid and scarcity of funds, partners have undertaken a thorough examination of which critical activities should be prioritized and what is realistically achievable by the end of the year. It must be stressed that needs have not reduced. As a consequence, most clusters have focused their attention on life-saving actions and, where the situation permits, support to livelihoods. Some recovery programmes have been suspended in favour of targeted feeding programmes, emergency nutrition interventions and response to outbreaks of communicable diseases such as cholera. Nearly all programmes have relied more heavily on national partners to deliver assistance and will continue to do so.
Working through the clusters, the aid community has revised the funding requirements, looking at each cluster individually, as needs in certain clusters have actually increased. Other clusters have decreased to a varying degree, not because of reduced requirements but rather decreased access and funds to implement in the first half of the year. The revised Consolidated Appeal for Somalia seeks US$ 596.1 million to address the most urgent humanitarian needs in Somalia in those areas that agencies and their partners can reach. This figure is a 13.5% reduction from the original requirement of $689 million. As of June 25, $338.8 million (56%) of funding had been recorded against revised requirements, leaving unmet requirements of $262.3 million.