Somalia Floods Response Plan 2006

6 December 2006

Somalia, one of the world’s poorest countries, has been hit by the worst flooding in recent history. The floods are the latest in a long series of disasters in a country which has been plagued by sixteen years of civil war, absence of an effective central government, basic services or infrastructures, and a devastating drought last year.  The humanitarian crisis of the Somali people, exhausted by years of conflict and disaster, is now deepening.  This is particularly the case in the southern and central areas of the country, along the Shabelle and Juba valley river basins.  Some places in Somalia have recorded more than six times their average monthly rainfall.  Currently, up to 350,000 people along the riverine areas are reported to be displaced, inundated or otherwise seriously affected by the floods. The worst-case scenario, according to flood modelling projections by United Nations technical agencies (based on a ten-year flood), indicates that up to 900,000 people could be inundated over the coming weeks if the persistent rains continue through December.  Floods have displaced entire communities, submerged villages, destroyed granaries, cut off feeder roads, blocked or damaged irrigation and flood relief infrastructures and inundated thousands of hectares of farmland in the South/Central area covering Gedo, Juba Valley, Hiran and Shabelle Valley Regions.  The seasonal Deyr rains (October to December), exacerbated by a moderate El Niño effect over the neighbouring Indian Ocean, are likely to continue through early 2007.  The combined effects of protracted civil strife and a series of natural disasters risk having a devastating impact on the already serious humanitarian situation in Somalia.

Access to the affected areas remains a major challenge for the humanitarian community.  Somalia is torn between the expanding influence of the Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional Federal Government, and tensions between the two have been escalating.  If a conflict were to erupt suddenly, the coping mechanisms of the Somali people would be practically non-existent as the effects of the current floods are exacerbating their vulnerability.  The humanitarian community, concerned about the possibility of renewed conflict, and its potential regional implications, has been engaged in high-level advocacy efforts to ensure the preservation of humanitarian space for aid delivery.  It has called on all parties to ensure humanitarian access for the provision of life-saving assistance to populations severely affected by the flooding. 

Despite the security situation due to conflict and access constraints during the month of October, and the subsequent withdrawal of UN international staff from the South Central areas, which are most severely affected by the floods, agencies have continued to mobilise resources and implement programmes, mainly through national staff on the ground and through national partners and local community groups.

The funding for the Somalia 2006 Consolidated Appeal currently stands at 58%, with serious imbalance between food and non-food sectors.  While most agencies have certain contingency plans built into their ongoing programmes, the magnitude of the current flooding is beyond their capacity to respond and hence the need to issue this Flood Response Plan.  Based on preliminary reports from the nine cluster groups, the priorities have been identified as: health, water and sanitation, nutrition, food, logistics, protection, education, livelihoods and early recovery activities.  The recently launched  2007 CAP for Somalia seeks to address the chronic long-term needs of 1.8 million people.  This Flood Response Plan addresses immediate life-saving interventions for up to 350,000 flood-affected persons in acute need of assistance, and amounts to US$[1] 28,616,475, out of which $10,437,041 are already funded through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) mechanism, leaving an unfunded balance of $18,179,434, and covers actions for up to three months.  The projects included in this Flood Response Plan may be adjusted as soon as more precise information becomes available.  Based on the response to this Flood Response Plan, the CAP 2007 will also be adjusted accordingly, during the course of next year.

 

 


[1]All dollar figures in this document are United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@un.org), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2007 page. 

Document History

6 December 2006

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