The month of July marked the finalization of FSAU's 2005 post Gu assessment according to which 919,000 people are in need of urgent assistance until January 2006, of which 542,000 are from the assessment analysis and 377,000 are continuing IDPs. This is an increase to the total 875,000 found to be in need of urgent assistance following the 2004/5 post Deyr assessment. While these figures could suggest an overall worsening of the situation, the assessment finds that while the number of people facing a Livelihood Crisis has substantially increased, the number of people in a state of Humanitarian Crisis has decreased. The findings of the assessment will be key in the elaboration of a Common Humanitarian Action Plan within the Somalia 2006 CAP.
The report of the 2004 HIV sero-prevalence Surveillance survey has been finalized. According to the findings, the median HIV prevalence in Somalia is 0.9%. Now is the time to implement a concerted effort to fight HIV/AIDS before it becomes a major health crisis. According to available data, the first HIV/AIDS cases in the country surfaced in the northwest in Berbera in 1992.
Security and access in Somalia remained volatile, particularly in the central and southern zone. According to a UNDSS security assessment undertaken in the course of the month, however, the situation in Lower Juba has seen a definite improvement. This could mark the reopening of the area to humanitarian activities. Since early 2004, the UN has had no permanent base in the region which resulted in limited humanitarian interventions despite high vulnerabilities of the local communities.
Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive month, access to an estimated 15,000 IDPs in Gedo region was obstructed due to insecurity. Fighting between the Gare and Marehan reignited toward the end of July 2005 and while fears of more fighting did not materialise, the area remains inaccessible to aid agencies. Limited assistance has reached the displaced and critical needs remain unmet. Attempts persevere with both clans to encourage reconciliation so as to facilitate access to the displaced.
During the flooding that occurred due to high flows along the Shabelle and Juba rivers during the months of May and June 2005, thousands of households were affected. Aid agencies mobilised an effective response, yet, the unusual Gu flows once again highlights the need for well developed Flood Early Warning systems and emergency preparedness plans. In this regard, a workshop on Community Flood Preparedness and Traditional Early Warning Systems took place in Jowhar in July to feed into the continued development of the 'Inter-Agency Action Plan for Flood Forecasting, Preparedness and Response for the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia. A similar workshop is planned for the Juba Valley in September and it is anticipated the Inter-Agency Action Plan will be updated in time for the 2005/6 Deyr season, when flooding usually occurs.
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- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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