Ethiopia + 3 more

Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue #18, 29 April-6 May 2011

Situation Report
Originally published


Key Overall Developments

Drought, Displacement and Coordination

An average of 80 people a day are reported to be moving to Boqol Manyo and Malkadida refugee camps in south east Ethiopia from Bay and Bakool regions of southern Somalia via Luuq and Doolow districts. The majority of those moving, on foot, are women and children since Al Shabaab has stopped trucks from accessing these regions. The main reason for the flight of these people is the drought affecting their area of origin. The displaced report that they have recently lost large herds of livestock and are moving in search of livelihoods.

The levels of the Juba River and Dawa River, a tributary that joins the Juba River in Doolow, at the border of Somalia and Ethiopia are reportedly increasing due to some substantial rains in the Ethiopian highlands where the two rivers originate. This will positively impact the situation of the population living in the area. .

WFP carried out a two day (2-3 May) joint programme, logistics and security mission to four districts in Galgaduud region. The team assessed drought conditions, sought to strengthen ties with local authorities and visited WFP warehouse facilities in Dhuusamarreeb. Heavy and sustained rains were observed during the mission and pasture and livestock conditions seemed to be improving. WFP met with local authorities and explained pipeline breaks due to limited funding as well as WFP’s new programme strategy of increased focus on targeted interventions.

Number of Somali refugees increases in 2011

According to UNHCR, nearly 50,000 new Somali refugees have been registered in the first quarter of 2011 in neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen in comparison to some 23,000 who fled Somalia at the same time last year. The majority of the refugees are coming from Bay and Bakool regions, forced out by the insecurity and the ongoing drought. The refugees all speak of a grim situation marked by relentless violence and human rights abuses. Nearly 22,000 refugees from the region crossed to Yemen during the first three months of 2011, compared to 9,400 people at the same time last year.

Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and IDPs in the world. An estimated 1.46 million Somalis are internally displaced while another 680,000 live as refugees in the neighbouring countries.

Mixed Migration Task Force

Since January, 420 Somali refugees returned to Somalia from Yemen due to the civil unrest in the host country. Humanitarian actors working on mixed migration issues are developing a contingency plan to respond to the potential increase in the rate of returns. Representatives from the Somaliland Mixed Migration Task Force travelled to Berbera to discuss with the local authorities the emergency response plan for the returnees coming through Somaliland. As a way forward, it was agreed that the immigration authorities and the coastal guards share regular information on new arrivals from Yemen with all members of the Somaliland taskforce, to ensure that the rights of the returnees are respected.

Conflict and Displacement

Gedo region: On 2 May, heavy fighting occurred in Garbahaarey between pro-TFG forces and Al Shabaab, killing at least four civilians and wounding three others. There were high numbers of combatant casualties. Reports indicate that several houses, including business premises, were burnt down during the fighting. An unconfirmed number of people were displaced.

Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) updates

The HC has cleared 85 out of 89 projects funded under the 2nd CHF Standard Allocation. Funds have been disbursed to 21 projects mainly targeting drought-affected people. Overall, about 38 per cent of the funding from this allocation goes to international NGOs, 17 per cent to Somali NGOs, and 45 per cent to UN agencies. Once funds forwarded to implementing partners are taken into account, the share of NGO funding increases from 55 per cent to 64 per cent. The figures are preliminary until the remaining four projects are cleared.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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