Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Somalia 2003: Mid-Year Review
Somalia and its people continue to suffer from years of internal strife and political instability combined with periodic drought and flooding, making them, despite their remarkable resilience, among the poorest and most vulnerable people on the globe. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-sponsored national reconciliation process has made progress, but still has many hurdles to overcome if a positive outcome is to be realised. Even if this is the case, bringing stability and security to the Somali people and rehabilitation of infrastructure will require long-term engagement from the international community. United Nations (UN) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have achieved limited lifesaving and peace building interventions despite chronic under-funding. The current CAP is only 26% funded at the mid-year point, and a further US$ 53 million is requested to fulfill current requirements. Areas of particular concern regarding funding include the education, health, water and sanitation and economic recovery sectors.
Of highest priority for the remainder of 2003 include: containing the spread of Human Immune-deficiency Virus / Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS); educating future generations of Somalis; strengthening protection frameworks; the provision of basic services for vulnerable communities; and strengthening field coordination to maximise the impact of scarce resources.
Changes in the Humanitarian Context
As at the launch of the Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals (CA) at the end of 2002, Somalia continues to suffer from violence and armed conflict throughout much of its southern and central regions, while relative stability prevails and in some cases has improved in the northern regions. Four hundred thousand Somalis remain refugees, while another 300,000-370,000 is mostly long-term internally displaced. The country continues to struggle with chronic food insecurity and poverty, disease, drought and limited educational and employment opportunities, placing it among those with the lowest human development indicators in the world.
Meanwhile, many Somali leaders remain engaged in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, taking place under the auspices of IGAD. The talks that began in Eldoret, Kenya in October last year were this year moved to Mbagathi, outside Nairobi and placed under the new leadership of Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat. But the lack of significant progress at the talks - which are increasingly taking place in the absence of key leaders - has been paralleled in the first half of the year by ongoing insecurity, which continues to have a significant impact on UN operations in Somalia. Fighting amongst and within clans and factions, mines from past and present conflicts, and organised crime and banditry continue to prevent access to many areas, while tensions that may lead to conflict prohibit access to others. Against this backdrop, there have been some notable changes that may effect operations in the coming months.
Iraq crisis has little impact inside Somalia
Meanwhile, after a close monitoring of the situation, the European Commission (EC) delegation has resumed regular European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) flights that were suspended at the start of war due to the possibility of related insecurity in Somalia. This has allowed the return of international staff from European Community (EC) implementing partners in Somalia. UN Common Air Services (UNCAS) flights were never suspended and international staff has continued to operate throughout the country. While several small anti-war demonstrations were staged in 'Somaliland', 'Puntland' and Mogadishu in March 2003, they were peaceful, and no efforts were made to target neither the internationals at large nor the UN. The possibility that deepening feelings of Muslim oppression world-wide may manifest themselves inside Somalia, either through what are now relatively weak fundamentalist groups such as Al Itihad or individually inspired revenge attacks, cannot be ruled out. But the apparent quick military victory in the war in Iraq should reduce this likelihood.
UN and NGOs working in areas of stability, increasingly engaging with authorities for access
While fragile, the relative levels of stability achieved in northern Somalia and more recently in some pockets of the south have allowed for increased advocacy for access to and protection of civilians as well as cautious consideration of expanded operation in some areas. The comparative security long enjoyed by the international community working in the self-declared, but otherwise unrecognised Republic of Somaliland, and more recently in the Puntland State of Somalia toward the end of 2002 has continued. While still fledgling and limited in capacity, local institutions continue to develop in both regions, including ministries and networks of regional, district and local authorities. Somaliland's continual move away from conflict culminated in its first peaceful multi-party presidential elections on 14 April 2003. Thirty-eight International NGOs and eleven UN agencies continue to work in this region in an increasingly coordinated manner.
In Puntland, the year so far has been characterised by relative stability, following a violent political and constitutional crisis that restricted access to the northeastern region for much of 2002. This has allowed aid work to continue with comparatively little interruption and for the UN system and its partners to take steps to expand its operations there in support of peace building, as well as to revitalise coordination mechanisms. While the southern and central regions remain largely characterised by violence and armed conflict, some levels of stability have improved in the Juba regions, in particular, in the areas of Kismayo, where the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) has created a relatively secure operating environment. As a result, several NGOs and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have recently undertaken assessments with a view to possibly re-establishing operations there, and the UN, namely UNDP and OCHA, are initiating work in the area to complement the longstanding programmes of UNICEF, Muslim Aid and the Somali Red Crescent Society, in particular, in strengthening assistance to some 15,000 IDPs and local destitute populations. It remains imperative in 2003 that the UN and NGO community take advantage of such pockets of peace to work with whatever local and regional administrations are in place to enhance access to basic services and support wider rehabilitation potentials in support of peace building.
Persistent areas of conflict and the arms embargo
Meanwhile violence and armed conflict have continued or in some cases intensified in areas of southern and central Somalia. In the early part of 2003, fighting affected the Bay, Middle Juba, Mudug and Lower Shabelle regions, as well as Mogadishu. Tensions that could lead to fighting have also limited access to the Sool, Sanaag, Middle Shabelle and Gedo regions. The heaviest conflict has been around the once stable humanitarian base of Baidoa where fighting amongst the factions of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA) have forced international aid staff and many people to leave the town. Clan conflicts around Buale in the Middle Juba region have claimed the lives of scores of people. In Mogadishu, where an estimated 20% of the Somali population lives, including 150,000 IDPs (many of whom have been displaced for over a decade), access remains restricted to UN international staff due to ongoing clan conflict and criminal activity.
Meanwhile, the Security Council in early April 2003 extended for another six months the mandate of a panel of experts appointed to investigate violations of the arms embargo for Somalia to allow further investigation and refinement of its recommendations. The report found evidence that weapons, equipment, militia training and financial support is being given regularly by neighbouring states and others to Somali factions and that the factions have purchased weapons on the open market.
Its recommendations for an enhanced sanctions regime implemented with increased determination, especially the establishment of a monitoring mechanism, are especially pertinent to the improvement of the operating environment in southern and central Somalia. Until the flow of arms is stopped, human suffering will continue and the efforts of UN and NGO agencies to alleviate it will remain dependent on highly unpredictable opportunities for action, driven not by need but the aims of those who have the guns.
Drought, floods and chronic food insecurity
Overall cereal production reached a post-war high in March 2003, with an average 80% increase nationwide. This is attributed to two good rainy seasons, the Gu in 2002 and the recent Deyr, which have especially benefited rain-fed agriculture in the south of the country, but also improved, in most areas, conditions for livestock. This has generally reduced acute food security problems, with some exceptions in the north-west where this year's Gu rains appear delayed and in areas in the south where conflict and the lack of access is affecting the ability of some farmers to harvest their crops. Areas of continuing vulnerability can be found in the northern Sool, Sanag and Bari regions, where successive dry seasons have created water and pasture shortages; the central Mudug and Galgadud regions, where limited rains and market access, combined with insecurity, have adversely affected livelihoods; and in the southern areas surrounding Baidoa and Burhakaba towns in Bay region, Buale and Jilib towns in the Lower and Middle Juba regions and Luuq and Garbarharey towns in Gedo region. In these areas, insecurity remains the primary obstacle to good harvest production. In Gedo, although the two most recent rains have been good, the effects of drought and insecurity have slowed recovery, especially for the poorest who remain vulnerable from three years of drought.
While Somalia has largely been spared from severe drought now affecting the greater Horn of Africa, it has been affected by significant migration of pastoralist families and their livestock fleeing water and pasturage shortages in Ethiopia. Beginning in December an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 families and livestock moved into Awdal region in Northwest Somalia from neighbouring Shinile zone of Ethiopia. Lack of adequate pasture due to poor rains within Awdal exacerbated conditions of this group with increased child mortality rates reported. More modest numbers of Ethiopian pastoralists are seeking temporary employment in Bossaso and Galkayo in Puntland and in Belet Weyne and parts of Bakool region, where they seek better pasturage as well as casual labour. In response to the situation in Awdal, UNICEF and WFP along with local partners implemented a nutrition/health response comprising three months emergency food distribution along with supplementary rations, child immunisation, mobile health services and health education targeting both affected local populations and the Ethiopan pastoralists. The arrival of Gu rains in mid-April, though late, brought considerable relief to this situation and many of the Ethiopians subsequently returned across the border.
Refugees coming home
Despite the absence of a central government, conflict in Somalia has declined over the past five years. As a result, official refugee camps are closing and Somali refugees from these camps are being resettled in their home areas. It is forecasted that the repatriation of Somali refugees from Ethiopia and Djibouti to Northern Somalia will be completed by December 2004, except for a small residual caseload with refugees mainly from the Southern Somalia. To achieve this, it is planned to repatriate 25,000 refugees from Ethiopia and 5,000 from Djibouti in 2003. The convoys from Djibouti to Northwest Somalia are planned to resume in May, while the movements from Ethiopia are still put on hold, partly due to food shortage and partly due to some problems with the Ethiopian Government. It is anticipated though, that the repatriation movements from Ethiopia will resume in the beginning of June. The repatriation by air of the first group of Somali refugees from Kenya to Northeast Somalia is planned to commence in May. Some 300 refugees are scheduled to return on six flights during that month. A total of 2,800 refugees in the Kenya camps have registered for voluntary repatriation to Northeast Somalia and pending availability of funds this could be implemented in a period of four to five months. Due to the war in Iraq and the subsequent restrictions on travel to Yemen, the preparations for repatriation of Somali refugees from that country has been postponed.
Civil society strengthening itself
In the first half of 2003, community-based and civil society organisations demonstrated renewed commitment to strengthening their institutional capacities and improving their performance in partnership with the international community. In February, the largest ever gathering of local NGOs, women's groups, professional associations, academic and research institutions, elders, religious leaders, and media, youth and human rights and civil society organisations gathered in Hargeisa to attend the Somali Civil Society Symposium at which they produced a document committing to work jointly towards a common vision for Somalia. Meanwhile, Puntland authorities have also openly acknowledged the need to smooth longstanding tensions between themselves and national NGOs operating in Puntland and, to that end, launched a 'Bridging the Gap' workshop in Garowe in April 2003, which aimed to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between the administration and civil society organisations. Meanwhile, women's groups are also becoming increasingly empowered and beginning to network and establish umbrella associations. While limited in capacity, these organisations, nonetheless, present the international aid community with opportunities to address women's issues through local Somali women-led organisations. It is hoped that these and other such initiatives will help strengthen partnerships between international aid organisations and community-based groups within Somalia in support of humanitarian and longer-term development initiatives.
Progress Made Toward Stated Goals and Objectives
Considerable progress has been made towards the goals and objectives of the Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) for 2003, which broadly seeks to save lives and improve livelihoods; expand access to basic services; assist in the integration and protection of displaced populations, minorities, refugees returning from exile and other vulnerable groups; and support good governance, peace building and economic recovery. In 2003, the UN operational agencies and its partners have continued their work and where possible intensified activities inside Somalia, including in the delivery of humanitarian relief assistance to vulnerable groups and communities, in particular, in the sectors of water and sanitation, health and education; in a multi-agency programme for the reintegration of refugees; in the promotion of the rule of law through law enforcement training and judicial reform; and through poverty reduction efforts focused, inter alia, on remittance flows and the resurrection of livestock exports. Some recent achievements are highlighted in the attached monitoring matrixes.
Impact of Funding Levels
Through the 2003 CAP, UN agencies and NGOs requested US$ 77.8 million targeting between 800,000 and 900,000 vulnerable people throughout Somalia. As of 22 May, the total response to the Appeal was US$ 18,367,014. All sectors, with the exception of coordination and multi-sectoral reintegration assistance, are poorly funded. So far, only US$ 1,615,133 has been contributed for food, totalling 13.2% of the food needs originally appealed for. The non-food sectors only received 28% of the total funding requested, or US$ 16,751,681. The education sector, in particular, remains a concern. As of 22 May, only US$ 700,000 had been received for education through the CAP. Overall, a total of US$ 53 million remains unfunded from the revised requirement of US$ 71.5 million.
Contributions to the health and nutrition sector have helped reduce vulnerability to diseases. UN agencies and their partners immunised about 1.23 million children against polio in first quarter of 2003 and while another estimated 850,000 received Vitamin A supplements. Four additional tuberculosis centres were introduced in Wanle Weyne, Kismayo, Bu'ale and two in Mogadishu, thus spreading the use of the effective Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS). Essential drugs have been procured for Somalia, some of which, along with vaccines and cholera kits were pre-positioned throughout Somalia to allow rapid responses to disease outbreaks. Regular support continued to be provided to 12 supplementary feeding centres and 3 therapeutic feeding centres. Training and awareness raising activities continued nationwide, including efforts to mobilise religious leaders on issues ranging from HIV/AIDs to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Food contributions have enabled the UN to sustain the lives of the most vulnerable as well as reduce food insecurity to a large extent. As of 31 March 2003, World Food Programme (WFP) distributed a total of 2,470 MTs of food commodities for some 151,700 beneficiaries in Somalia through various programmes. NGOs have also continued to play a vital role in food distributions outside the UN. Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE), for example, delivered a total of 1,260 MTs with 850 MTs in Bay, Bakol, Hiran and Middle Shabelle Regions as Food-for-Work (FFW) and 410 MTs as relief food distribution in Gedo Region.
The good Deyr rainy season resulted in an above average harvest over most of Somalia and when combined with the 2002 Gu season resulted in an exceptional production compared to the post war average. As a result, and in line with the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) policy, the UN did not support free seed distribution in Somalia for the upcoming Gu rainy season. However, some NGOs will/have provided small quantities of seeds to particularly vulnerable groups (e.g. returning IDPs in Gedo), as well as setting up demonstration and trial plots for the introduction of new seed varieties.
WFP initiated FFW activities in the agriculture and water sectors in an effort to maintain or enhance agricultural activities through clearing, preparation and protection of farmland in addition to the rehabilitation of water catchments. WFP assisted some 97,500 beneficiaries with 1,487 MTs of food in community-based programmes.
Within the livestock sector, contributions have continued to support efforts to strengthen the livestock trade sector, particularly, an effective system for disease surveillance and health certification of livestock and livestock products. Although the livestock embargo imposed by the Gulf States on import of livestock from Somalia remains in place for Saudi Arabia, the trade in live animals and animal meat products is increasing to other Gulf States. A possible way forward for support to the Somali livestock trade will be presented at a meeting jointly held by Food and Agriculture Organization / United Nations Development Programme (FAO/UNDP) with the OIE and Somali Business Council on 29 and 30 April in Dubai. The major constraints remain the lack of importer confidence in Somali certification and veterinary services. NGOs contribute significantly to the animal health sector mostly under the auspices of the EC-funded Pan African Programme for the Control of Epizootics (PACE) for Somalia.
Progress has also been made in the area of water and sanitation, in particular, in constructing urban water supply systems, rehabilitating rural boreholes and infrastructure, constructing new shallow wells and rehabilitating and protecting existing shallow wells from pollution. The rehabilitation of boreholes aged 15 years or more has been identified as a new priority. Agencies and donors also continue to work closely to promote private sector management and investment and public oversight of urban water systems. This has included the establishment and provision of technical support to a local water enterprise in Galkayo to manage and ensure appropriate internal guidelines for project operations. The sector continues to work through the SACB to standardise and improve methods of implementation.
The most significant achievement in the education sector has been the distribution of lower primary textbooks and education kits to all operational schools, as well as the finalisation of the manuscripts for Grade 5 and 6 textbooks in six subjects. Attention is also being focused on adult non-formal education, with a needs assessment expected to be completed in May 2003. Lack of funding against the CAP has disrupted or delayed the implementation of several critical activities such as the finalisation of Grade 7 and 8 textbooks, teachers and instructors training, support to vocational training and adult non-formal education. Insecurity and weak local capacities remains the other primary challenges to progress in this sector. However, the sector has now established fairly strong networking, particularly, at the national level, and in the two northern zones under the umbrella of the Education Sectoral Committee of the SACB. This has provided a vibrant forum for coordinating service delivery, ensuring harmonisation and standardisation of interventions by various partners and initiating the development of a joint education sector strategy for the coming years through a participatory process. It has also supported the identification of sectoral priorities, including the education of girls, the financing and management of education and the provision of primary level textbooks.
In implementing their various mandates, individual UN agencies continue to coordinate and cooperate closely together through the range of readily available mechanisms, including the framework of the UN Country Team (UNCT), the CAP itself and the SACB. The recent recruitment of five national Humanitarian Affairs Officers for the south/central zone has enabled OCHA to start building a field coordination network that will greatly enhance the role of SACB in its efforts at strategic coordination of aid activities in the country. In particular, the decentralisation of coordination will improve the participation of Somalis and Somali leadership in the coordination process, and allow more decision making to take place closer to the ground. The SACB has set up a secretariat in Hargeisa to allow this process to develop in "Somaliland". The OCHA network is starting to improve the quality and quantity of information coming out of the field that is feeding into the aid community through the SACB structures and to UN Headquarters level through regular weekly and monthly updates, together with reports to the Security Council and General Assembly. The UN has continued to support public awareness and media activities, but the absence of a dedicated staff person has meant that these activities have not been fully implemented. OCHA is actively working with the International NGO community to establish ways in which the network can best benefit the wider aid community in Somalia.
In cooperation with United Nations Security Coordinator, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNSECOORD, OCHA) continues its efforts to exploit new opportunities for expanded humanitarian operation in stable areas. So far in 2003, UN security officers have conducted assessments in areas where insecurity or other factors have prevented visits in the past, including in South Mudug, Nugal and parts of Lower Shabbelle regions. In many cases the situation is such that UN agencies will be able to carry out their work. In 2003, the UN security office also improved the UN Emergency Communications System in Somalia by installing more High Frequency (HF) radio systems, Very High Frequency (VHF) repeaters and by standardising the frequencies used on all VHF/short-range radios. In many areas NGOs have joined the VHF system. The UN security office, with UNDP support, also provides a 24-hour communication centre in Nairobi with HF radio, landline, e-mail and satellite telephone to offer emergency assistance to all agencies including NGOs. Security operations have, however, been constrained in 2003 by redeployment of staff for the Iraq crisis. As a result, the UN has concentrated on essential activities such as security assessments, emergency planning, support to agencies and improvements to the communication system. It has been unable to offer training to UN staff. In the longer term, this will impact on operations because staff members will be less prepared to face the hazards of work in Somalia.
In the area of mine action, a joint United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)/Handicap International Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) Study on land mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) threats was finalised in Somaliland. Handicap International and UNICEF have established a partnership in the implementation of mine risk education activities in Somaliland targeting most vulnerable communities identified in the KAP study and within a more coherent mine action framework with UNDP, local authorities and NGOs. The Danish De-Mining Group concluded the Land Mine Impact Survey. The team presented the initial findings to the local authorities and the international community in Hargeisa. The final report will be available by the end of April. Support to the Somaliland Mine Action Centres (SMAC) in Somaliland continued and assessments were undertaken to extend the programme in Puntland.
The UNCT has identified protection and human rights as one of the four key priority themes for its work in 2003. A UN theme group on protection and human rights has been established with the aim to strengthen interventions and activities in these fields, in particular, with regard to awareness raising, advocacy and monitoring and programmatic interventions to strengthen the protective environment for vulnerable and marginalised groups throughout Somalia. A strategy for addressing these issues has been drafted and a clear action plan has been adopted by all agencies with a view to fulfill these goals.
Likewise, the SACB has established a Rule of Law and Protection working group, which will help strengthen coordination and collaboration among international and local partners in these fields.
Progress has been made with regard to the ongoing provision of basic services to returnees, IDPs and host communities. Quick impact projects (QIPs) were implemented to address urgent water and sanitation, health, education and shelter needs. Through a joint inter-agency effort involving UNDP, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO), the reconstruction of the Hargeisa Health Training Institute (Now renamed Hargeisa Institute of Health Sciences) and the Daami Health Centre were completed. Emergency support to the water supply system for the town of Hargeisa and surrounding settlements of returning refugees and internally displaced persons was equally provided. Although these interventions have helped communities to absorb returning refugees with reduced competition over scarce resources and, thus, contributed to peace and stability, the gap between needs and available services and income-generation opportunities remains wide and continues to be a concern.
In the area of judiciary reform, activities continue to focus on re-establishing institutions and strengthening functional capacities of the judiciary in Somalia, while incorporating a wide and participatory approach that encompasses all relevant actors. On the law enforcement side, efforts continue to focus on the establishment of a professional civilian police force that is able to effectively contribute to the restoration of peace, while gaining the trust of the community. Awareness has been created among women's groups, human rights defenders, judiciary and law enforcement agencies of the challenges that women in poor wealth groups, IDP camps and minority groups face in obtaining justice in the existing legal structures, and various groups have been trained on the complementarity between Customary Law, Sharia and the Human Rights instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR).
A Small Arms Control Project has been initiated which aims at:
1) promoting public awareness and community participation in small arms control and reduction;
2) strengthening the capacity of local authorities to control small arms possession and availability through development of legal frameworks; and
3) supporting the strengthening of official control over police weapons.
Support to peace-building activities through cadastral survey activities that had initially been implemented in rural areas continued to be conducted with extension into urban areas. Within the context of demobilisation, agricultural assistance to war veterans in areas that had already been mapped and surveyed by the cadastral survey project were provided.
Support was provided to local authorities and other stakeholders in the development of a child-friendly juvenile justice and law enforcement system. During the first quarter of the year, a comprehensive child protection study was conducted throughout the country to assess the situation of children affected by violence, abuse, exploitation and discrimination. A child rights situation analysis has also been conducted in North West Zone, in close partnership between UN agencies, Save the
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