London Conference: High-Level Event for the Humanitarian Situation in Somalia, 6 March 2018

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 05 Mar 2018




The 2017 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) received about 68 per cent of the funds requested, which corresponds to more than one billion, out of the USD 1.5 billion requirements. However, significant resources are still required to continue famine prevention efforts in 2018. Building on the achievements from last year’s response, this document outlines the main humanitarian needs that persist in 2018, and plans for the response by clusters and humanitarian actors in the first half of 2018 (January-June), to efficiently respond to the ongoing crisis.


In January 2018, the Somalia Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) launched the 2018 HRP for Somalia, requesting US$1.5 billion to deliver assistance to 5.4 million of the most vulnerable people in the country. The HRP highlights the need for continued highly targeted famine prevention efforts.

Jointly with the HRP, the Drought Impact Needs Assessment (DINA) and Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF) were launched by the Government, with the support of the United Nations, World Bank and European Union, to support Somalia’s recovery from the protracted drought and build medium- to long-term resilience and disaster preparedness.

Humanitarian and development actors have agreed on collective outcomes to be achieved by 2020, to reduce needs, risks and vulnerabilities and increase resilience, to ensure that future droughts, which are becoming more frequent and intense due to global climate change, do not turn into crises.
Famine was averted in Somalia in 2017 due to early and sustained large-scale action by government, civil society, private sector, diaspora and humanitarian actors and donors.

Seasonal improvement in food security and income during the Deyr season (October-December) were also a contributing factor. Despite the localized relief, the food security situation may deteriorate again with forecasted average to below average Gu (April-June) rains, and continued armed conflict in significant portions of the country. The drought, spanning over four consecutive rainy seasons, has destroyed livelihoods, induced mass displacement and exhausted resilience and coping mechanisms of people across the country. The impacts of the drought, compounded by underlying vulnerabilities due to years of conflict and marginalization, mean that seasonal improvements are fragile and rapid deterioration of the situation continues to be a real threat in many areas, unless significant humanitarian assistance is sustained. Timely investment of resources continues to be crucial to ensure that famine will be kept at bay again in 2018.

Overall improvements in food security and malnutrition, but resilience exhausted. Although the FSNAU post-Deyr seasonal assessment for February-June 2018 indicates a slight improvement in the food security situation compared to 2017, substantive recovery in Somalia will require a sustained period of favorable agricultural seasons and improved stability, which remains unlikely given ongoing insecurity.
Projections for February to June 2018 show that, of the 5.4 million people estimated to be in need, nearly half a million are assessed to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and a further 2.2 million are categorized as being in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Several critical geographic priorities remain, with population groups classified as Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4), in central and north, particularly in the disputed regions of Sool and Sanaag, where military tensions between Somaliland and Puntland have reignited and extending into the central regions of Galmudug state. Furthermore, an estimated one million children under-five are also projected to be malnourished in 2018, and in need of urgent life-saving assistance. Although the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) has decreased, four below average rainy seasons have eroded households’ livelihoods and coping mechanisms, increasing their vulnerability to shocks. With a forecast for a fifth below average rainfall between April and June, it is important that partners focus their work on the protection and restoration of livelihoods, as well as the promotion of basic services to build resilience to these recurrent and ever deepening shocks.

Climate outlook for 2018. After four consecutive poor rainy seasons, the forecast for the 2018 Gu season indicates average to below average Gu rains in most parts of Somalia.

A potential fifth poor rainy season in Somalia will worsen the availability of pasture and water, crop cultivation, livestock reproduction and access to agricultural employment. Water and food prices are also expected to be adversely impacted throughout the country. Moreover, due to the drought, the Shabelle river has run dry in the Jilaal for the third consecutive season south of Jowhar, reducing irrigation potential in the major crop producing areas of the Shabelle basin.

Displacement towards urban centres have diminished but not stopped. There are currently some 2.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, over one million of whom left their homes in 2017 alone, as a result of the drought, conflict or continued lack of access for humanitarian actors to deliver assistance in their areas of origin. Of those displaced, nearly 40 per cent are in need of humanitarian assistance.

With their livelihoods withering away, many rural Somalis have had few options but to migrate to urban areas to seek humanitarian assistance and services, where they may face discrimination and marginalization. Baidoa and Mogadishu have seen a surge in IDPs arriving from rural areas throughout 2017, particularly from hard-to-reach areas in southern and central Somalia that are controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group. Although drought-related displacement declined towards the end of 2017, there is little evidence showing that IDP returns have started or are imminent. The displacement trend has shown a slight increase in January 2018, and is likely to remain a concern in 2018.
Protection concerns and risks remain high for Somalis.

Millions, and in particular children, are affected by protection violations or exposed to risks, which are both a root cause and a grave consequence of the complex crisis in Somalia.

In 2018, 3.6 million Somalis are estimated to be in need of protection interventions, requiring a collective response to address the key protection risks identified, such as exclusion, displacement and direct harm caused by conflict, including gender-based violence and family separation. The detrimental trend of forced evictions of IDPs was highlighted in December 2017, when approximately 4,000 families, or about 24,000 individuals were forcefully evicted from more than 20 informal settlements on the outskirts of the capital of Mogadishu. These evictions represent potential human rights violations and undermine the government’s commitment to find durable solutions for the internally displaced.

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