Somalia: Country mapping – large scale cash transfers for COVID-19 response


Executive summary

Background: as COVID-19 impacts on health, livelihoods, and wellbeing of all people around the world, the UN Under Secretary General - Emergency Relief Coordinator called on international community for a recovery package of USD90Bn necessary to support 700 million extremely vulnerable people around the world. In light of the inherent benefits of using cash assistance in the response to COVID-19, there is a potential for a large proportion of this aid to be delivered through such assistance.

Purpose and objectives: this is a rapid country review aiming to identify the best ways to fast-delivery of these cash transfers by (i) prioritising reasonably actionable measures to channel the available aid towards the most in need, and (ii) identifying a better modus operandi for an articulated humanitarian and development action to support such measures.

Methodology: is based on extensive desk review, consultations with relevant groups of stakeholders from government (MoLSA), humanitarian coordination, World Bank, donors,
UN agencies, (I)NGOs, and Cash Working Group (CWG), and thru intensive but quite broad debriefing and review process. Main limitations are determined by the very short length of the assignment (12 days) and the ongoing dynamics in each sector, with high potential for constant reconfiguration and requiring further investigation.

Key findings and recommendations: This rapid exploratory review finds that there is significant potential to scale up cash assistance to those in need in the context of Somalia. Cash assistance currently delivered through humanitarian channels reaches about 33% of the people in need (PiN) identified by the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) updated for 2020 whereas the cash assistance delivered through newly established social protection mechanisms (SSN) reaches 9.6% of the total population of Somalia which amounts about 23% HRP PiN.

COVID-19 pandemic overlaps with locust infestation and important floods adding a significant burden to an already very fragile population. The shock responsive component of the SP response to locust upsurge targets 100K households which, at an average of six persons per household would total 600K individuals or 4.8% of the total population.

Therefore, there is high potential for significant scale-up, depending not only on additional funding available but also on how the concrete operations on the ground would be effectively deployed. This is directly linked with the proposed action points and the corresponding adjustments the local stakeholders should bring at operational level.


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