Humanitarian response in Somalia: Monthly cluster report, Sep 2008

Situation Report
Originally published


This report was written in cooperation with the cluster coordinators for the humanitarian operation in Somalia and provides a monthly update on ongoing activities and humanitarian response.


- The 2008 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for Somalia was 65% funded as of mid-October 2008. However, there were extreme variations in funding levels between sectors, ranging from as little as 9% for education to 92% for food aid.

- In September, more than 35,000 people were displaced from Mogadishu due to insecurity.

- A total of 1,253 cases of Acute Water Diarrhoea were reported throughout Somalia, including 36 deaths.

- Despite the security situation, and with more than five security incidents directly related to food aid distribution, WFP, CARE and ICRC managed to distribute food aid to nearly two million people.

- On a daily basis, around 80,000 vulnerable people continued to receive cooked food rations in Mogadishu.

- More than 140,000 children were vaccinated against measles in IDP settlements in and around Mogadishu and Afgooye corridor.


Due to poor maintenance and general insecurity, road access continued to be a major challenge along Waajid-Baidoa and Marka-Mogadishu roads of South Central Somalia. On average, humanitarian cargo is taking much longer to reach destinations due to these constraints. Considering the distance, it should take maximum a day on the Waajid-Baidoa-Mogadishu routes. Due to years of lack of road maintenance it now takes up to three days, and urgent road repairs are needed. WFP is currently rehabilitating key transport infrastructure such as roads, ports and bridges along the Waajid-Baidoa corridor. This project will continue in 2009 and will need additional donor funding.

Following the UN Country Team decision in July 2008, an alternative UNHAS air hub will be established in Marka. The work required to get the hub fully functioning include the extension of the runway, and installation of perimeter fences as well as upgrading of infrastructure for UNHAS to remain fully operational with the current fleet. WFP is already working on the first phase of the extension of the runway with CERF funding. The second phase is subject to adequate funding through the 2009 CAP.

At K50 storage facility, the capacity has been increased 100% since last month (August) with a total 16,000 cubic metric (cm) or 4,000 mt storage capacity that caters for the Afgooye IDP corridor. The storage facility in Waajid has been increased 30% and is now operating with a total 4,000 cm or 1,000 mt storage capacity.

The Canadian frigate currently providing escort assistance for WFP shipments into Somalia was initially scheduled to end the assistance on 27 September 2008 but has now been extended to 23 October 2008. After 23 October, the Dutch Government will provide escort assistance.

The largest overseas vessel contracted by WFP in recent months safely arrived in Mogadishu on Saturday 27 September with 13,770 mt of maize. The ship sailed from Durban in South Africa on 14 September and arrived in Mogadishu on 27 September under the Canadian naval escort. So far the Canadian frigate has safely escorted five WFP-contracted vessels into Mogadishu with a total shipment of 36,360 mt of assorted food commodities since the escort started on 18 August 2008.

Insecurity remained a major challenge for humanitarian operations. On 25 September, a convoy carrying 1,230 mt of WFP food to Bakool region was ambushed by militiamen in Balcaad, 30km north of Mogadishu and the food looted. The contracted transport company is still making efforts to recover the food.

Due to insecurity that prevailed in Marka in September, as a precautionary measure, WFP reduced its international staff presence in Marka and temporary relocating five staff to Waajid.

Following a ban on use of the Mogadishu Airport imposed by Al Shabaab on 16 September, UN flights into Mogadishu and K-50 were suspended. Mogadishu Airport is the lifeline for many of the remaining residents in the city. Normally, at least five commercial flights arrive and depart on a weekly basis to and from the rest of Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Dubai.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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