Revision of the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia 2006
Somalia is experiencing the consequences of the worst drought in over ten years. Although the drought has affected a number of countries in the region, the situation in Somalia is of particular concern as it has endured fifteen years of armed conflict and generalised violence, which have resulted in widespread human rights abuses, the destruction of public infrastructure, and the disintegration of basic health and social services. Within the context of this on-going complex emergency, the failed 2005 Deyr (short) rainy season has debilitated livelihoods and aggravated already difficult living conditions in southern Somalia. As a result, the number of people targeted for humanitarian assistance in 2006 has more than doubled from 1 to 2.1 million people, prompting a revision of the Consolidated Appeal for Somalia.
While communities in the north and centre continue to face an acute food and livelihood crisis, the majority of those affected are in southern Somalia, where the drought has resulted in depletion of water sources and grazing land, widespread crop failure, significant loss of livestock, and irregular population movements. Failing crops and the death of livestock have significantly contributed to increased malnutrition among children. Reports from surveillance activities, health facilities and selective feeding programmes indicate growing numbers of severely and moderately malnourished children in areas that already have rates that are far above the emergency threshold of 15%. Gedo, the most drought affected region, has been identified at moderate risk of a famine. Deteriorating living conditions have created a conducive environment for an increased incidence of communicable diseases. Measles outbreaks have been reported in many areas. Drought-related population movements are adding to the already large number of long-standing IDPs and to high drop-out rates in most schools. The differential impact of the drought has been recognised where families are splitting, with men and boys moving livestock to the river areas while women with young children head towards urban centres. The situation is further complicated by intermittent access to those most in need.
Although the security situation is consistently fragile and unpredictable, there have been some encouraging developments towards improved humanitarian access. Various local reconciliation initiatives among clans are taking place in drought-affected areas, which were previously inaccessible. In January 2006, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Prime Minister and the United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in which the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) committed itself to cooperating with the UN to enhance access. At the local level, humanitarian partners are disseminating principles on unhindered access and protection to elders, community leaders and other de facto local authorities. It is hoped that these efforts will lead to increased access opportunities to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
The TFG has continued to work towards building peace. The signing of the Aden Declaration in January 2006 was a major breakthrough in the political process as it created encouraging prospects for reconciliation within the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs). As a result of the declaration, the first session of the Transitional Federal Parliament took place on 26 February 2006 in the southern town of Baidoa. However, despite the TFG’s efforts to gradually expand its authority throughout the country, it has limited capacity and resources to respond to the humanitarian situation and improve the quality of life of Somali people.
Immediate concerns include not only the deteriorating food security, livelihood, health, nutrition, water, and sanitation conditions, but also the possibility of increased needs if the upcoming Gu (long) rainy season fails. Given the significant possibility of below normal rainfall, the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) is predicting that parts of southern Somalia are at a high risk of entering into a state of Famine/Humanitarian Catastrophe from July to December 2006. Humanitarian partners are responding to the crisis following a two-track approach - providing life-saving assistance as well as supporting livelihoods – in order to discourage relief dependency and prevent those in a state of Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis from falling into a Humanitarian Emergency. Coordination mechanisms have also been enhanced with the establishment of an Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) for Somalia and the adoption of a cluster approach to ensure an integrated response to the growing needs.
Under the IASC, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will continue to work closely with local authorities and communities toward the three strategic priorities of the Consolidated Appeal: (1) increase access to basic humanitarian services for vulnerable populations, in particular 1.7 million in a state of Humanitarian Emergency or an Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis, 370,000 - 400,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and those living in areas of return and resettlement; (2) enhance the protection of and respect for the human rights and dignity of affected populations; and (3) strengthen local capacity for social service delivery and response to natural or conflict-related disaster. The objectives have remained the same, since the effects of the complex humanitarian situation have not changed. They also continue to maintain links to the Joint Needs Assessment (JNA).
The revised Consolidated Appeal for Somalia seeks US$ 326,718,040million for 92 projects for the remainder of the year. As of 20 March 2006, donors have committed US$ 79,703,293 million. Almost 83% of the increase in funding requirements is due to additional food needs. As a result of the prevailing drought conditions, key partners in the food sector have decided to plan for a continuation of general food distributions in southern Somalia until the end of the year. Improvement in the humanitarian situation will depend largely on the appropriateness and timeliness of emergency assistance and on support from the international community to enable aid organisations and Somali partners to respond. If assistance is not provided in a timely manner, a continuation of the dry spell may result in a widening of the population affected and a deepening of the humanitarian crisis to a generalised famine situation. This may serve to undermine the political process and the on-going, local reconciliation initiatives.
A Regional Appeal for the Drought in the Horn of Africa will be issued in early April. This Appeal will focus on the regional nature of the drought and it will seek support to address both short and medium response strategies, paving the way for longer term ones.
FSAU developed the Integrated Food Security and Humanitarian Phase Classification in order to improve linkages between the areas of food, nutrition and livelihood security, and response. The five phase classifications – Generally Food Insecure, Chronically Food Insecure, Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis, Humanitarian Emergency, and Famine/Humanitarian Catastrophe – are based on consistent and internationally accepted criteria, such as crude mortality rates, malnutrition, disease prevalence, dietary diversity, water access/availability, and livelihood assets. Please see Annex I: FAO/FSAU Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Table, which further explains the classification terminology and the implications for action for each phase.
The Humanitarian Response Review (HRR) recommended developing clusters of relevant partners in order to improve preparedness and response and fill gaps in a number of sectors and cross-cutting issues.
The objective of the JNA is to help Somalia achieve sustained reconstruction and development through the assessment of needs and subsequent elaboration of a long-term Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP). The RDP will function as an instrument for mobilizing, distributing, and coordinating international recovery assistance.