Somalia: Drought Emergency Appeal n° MDRSO005

This Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 1,290,936 Swiss francs to enable IFRC support the Somali Red Crescent Society to deliver assistance and support to 78,990 drought-affected people for 6 months, with a focus on the following sectors: health and care, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, nutrition and livelihoods interventions. The planned response reflects the current situation and information available at this time of the evolving operation, and will be adjusted based on further developments and more detailed assessments. Details are available in the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA)

The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date

August 2015: Poor post-Gu (long rains) exacerbates drought conditions leading to reduced pasture land, water shortages, and deaths of livestock. This has increased the number of acutely food insecure people to emergency levels, with 38% of the Somalia population acutely food insecure, and 304,700 children under 5 years of age acutely malnourished. Reports indicate that 4.7 million people are food insecure with an estimated 930,000 already in IPC Phase 3 (crisis) and 22,000 in Phase 4 (emergency). Without humanitarian assistance the situation will deteriorate

January 2016: Governments of Somaliland and Puntland declare the drought situation an emergency.

February 2016: IFRC Surge Capacity deployed to support the Somali Red Crescent Rapid Situational and Needs Assessment

March 2016: Emergency Appeal launched for 1,290,936 Swiss francs. 129,394 Swiss francs allocated from the IFRC`s Disaster Emergency Relief Fund (DREF) for assessments and support the start of assistance.

The operational strategy

Needs assessment and beneficiary selection According to Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit1 (FSNAU), 38% of the population of Somalia is acutely food insecure and 304,700 children under 5years of age are acutely malnourished, including 58,300 who are severely malnourished and face the risk of morbidity and mortality. FSNAU reports that 4.7 million people are food insecure with an estimated 930,000 already in IPC Phase 3 (crisis) while 22,000 are in Phase 4 (Emergency) and without humanitarian assistance the situation will deteriorate. The findings of the IFRC-supported rapid assessment show that households are resorting to negative coping mechanisms such as the selling cattle at below market rates.

The drought situation has affected pastures forcing some people to migrate in search of food and water for their livestock. The water and pasture shortages has resulted in deaths of livestock as well as an increase in disease outbreaks. Households also have to pay between USD 6 and 10 for a 200 litre drum of drinking water as most water sources have dried up. FSNAU reports that the average distance to nearest water points is 48km, with most of the water sources being unsafe for household consumption.

There has been a relative increase in the incidence of disease outbreaks reported by the Ministry of Health-led Rapid Drought Assessment as well as feedback from focus group discussions with health centre staff and communities during the IFRC led assessment. The common diseases affecting the population include diarrhoea, typhoid, malnutrition (severe and acute) acute respiratory infections and anaemia. Health centre officials in Kalabeyr clinic in Gabiley (Hargeisa) reported 2 deaths in January 2016, one due to malnutrition (1 year old child) and the other due to diarrhoea (9 year old child). Skin infections linked to water shortages have also been reported. Due to long distances to health centres (an average of 15km), it is reported that most families are not taking their children for vaccination despite a high level of awareness on the importance of immunization.

The selection of beneficiaries will be based on their level of vulnerability, including: households who have lost their source of livelihoods (loss of crops and animals), the chronically ill, elderly, female-headed households, lactating mothers and children < 5 years (malnourished), pregnant women, and/or people with disabilities. The Somalia Redcross Cross Society (SRCS) is working closely with the government, stakeholders and other agencies to ensure that there will be no duplication of activities. The selection process will be participatory. This includes conducting community meetings to set up beneficiary selection committees who will assist to define vulnerability criteria and identify the beneficiaries.

Overall objective: The SRCS, through the Emergency Appeal, seeks to improve health, nutrition, food security and access to safe water for the drought-affected population in the regions of Somaliland (Hargeisa, Sahel, Sool Sanaag) and Puntland (Bari and Nugal). This objective will be achieved through:

  • Food assistance through mobile money transfers to 900 households (5,400 people) for over 3 months Provision of health services to 78,990 people through the deployment of mobile clinics

  • Nutrition screening for 15,798 children (<5 years), treatment and referrals of complicated cases.

  • Provision of clean and safe water for consumption through rehabilitation of 12 boreholes and 12 berkeds (Somaliland and Puntland)

  • Provision of fuel subsidy for 10 boreholes and 6000 ceramic water filters.

  • Health and hygiene promotion through training 120 volunteers (Somaliland and Puntland).

SRCS is seeking a start-up DREF allocation of CHF 129,394 to support initial actions, such as beneficiary targeting, procurement and distribution of nutrition supplements and setting up the Cash Transfer system.

Coordination and partnerships

The IFRC’s Country Office is supporting the Somali Red Crescent Society in implementing health programmes including mobile and static clinics. The ICRC is supporting the National Society with Restoring Family Links (RFL) and tracing activities. The German Red Cross has in-country presence supporting the National Society with a drought response operation funded by ECHO. Water trucking is the main activity implemented under the ECHO project.

The Somali Government through its National Environmental and Research and Disaster Authority (NERAD) coordinates all interventions by humanitarian agencies with support from UN-OCHA. The SRCS participates in all coordination meetings including in Government led assessments. Other agencies implementing humanitarian activities related to the drought response include UNICEF implementing water and sanitation activities while World Vision with support from WFP is implementing nutritional support projects through health centres. Norwegian and Danish Refugee Councils are implementing food assistance through cash transfer programmes.

SRCS and IFRC held meetings with mobile money service providers to develop an overview of the capacity of the mobile operators. The meetings highlighted the widespread use of mobile money platforms by the communities in Somalia including livestock trade and food purchases. The mobile money platform is widespread with sufficient network coverage in the areas targeted under the operation. The mobile operators indicated that they are able to support the operation through free registration of beneficiaries who are not on the mobile money platform, and will provide training on how the systems work.