Somalia: Factsheet April 2007

About Somalia

No functioning national government since 1991 when country descended into civil war. Following this, the NW region declared independence as the "Republic of Somaliland" but is still not recognised internationally. It has held free & fair, democratic presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections and is relatively stable. Puntland (NE Somalia) sees itself as part of Somalia but has own governing institutions, & in dispute with Somaliland over territory on the common "border".

A Somalia Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) and Government (TFG) led by interim President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, was appointed late '04/early '05 for 5 year term under a Transitional Federal Charter. The transitional institutions (TFIs), based in Baidoa in Western Somalia, lacked support among the clans, particularly those of central/southern Somalia. In 2006, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) emerged as strong political/military force & brought an element of stability to parts of central/south Somalia. However, the UIC showed increasing signs of militancy which concerned countries. In Dec '06, Ethiopian troops and the TFG routed the UIC and the TFG took control of Mogadishu. In Feb '07, UN Security Council Resolution 1744 explicitly authorised the Africa Union to establish a stabilisation mission for Somalia (AMISOM) and the first troop deployments have now arrived in Mogadishu. Yusuf is preparing to hold a Reconciliation Congress in April with the aim of deepening inclusivity and broadening clan-based acceptance of the TFG.

With collapsed institutions of state, personal security, rule of law and overall economic and social development has suffered. However in many areas, health, education, electricity and water services are supplied by private sector, Diaspora and NGOs.

Mainly nomadic pastoralist population is estimated at between 6 and 9m1, population growth of 4.2%.(2)

Annual GNI per capita is $130.(3) 43% of the population have incomes below $1 per day.(4)

Primary school enrolment rate has slumped to 17%.(5) Only 1/3 children attending are girls.

Average life expectancy is 47,(6) and 225 children per 1,000 live births, die before the age of five.(7)

WHO estimates maternal mortality as 1 per 100 live births (1 in 3800 in UK).(8)

Average HIV prevalence level from a 2004 survey was estimated at 0.9%.(9)

29% of the population has access to improved drinking water sources.(10)

Somalia suffers routinely from climate-caused and conflict-exacerbated emergencies. The UN estimates 1m in need of humanitarian relief in 2007(11), compared to just under 2m last year. Main needs include specialised feeding and medical care, water and sanitation interventions, and protection.

DFID: Working to save lives and reduce poverty in Somalia

Somalia has received on average $130m per year since 2000 from the International Community. DFID's programme framework has increased from £3.1m in 2002/03 to £18.75m in 2005/06. For 06/07 the approved budget was £15.5m and our new budget for 07/08 is £21m. DFID's Country Engagement Plan focuses on governance, security, emergency humanitarian relief and assistance to service delivery. Between 2001/2 and 05/6 the UK provided £33m to Somalia, £27m of which was for humanitarian assistance.

Making aid effective

DFID is working closely with other donors & UN agencies to improve coordination of development assistance, through the Somali Support Secretariat & other mechanisms. Since '05, DFID & the WB have facilitated the piloting in Somalia of OECD DAC Principles for Engagement in Fragile States. There is no Joint Assistance Strategy but work is beginning to develop Multi-Donor Trust Fund to receive pledged funds for the UNDP & WB led Reconstruction & Development Framework (RDF). We are helping to develop an EU/Norway 2007-2013 Country Strategy Paper for Somalia which takes the RDF as its starting point, in the absence of a PRSP.


DFID is assisting the TFG, through support to the TFIs, through logistical costs, capacity building to key ministries (eg. Ministry of Finance to aid public financial management) and local administrations (UN Habitat) and support to a new constitutional process, through UNDP; as well as development of media through Horn Afrik. DFID is funding UNDP's rule of law programme and led calls for and partially funded, development of a national Security & Stabilisation Plan. A start is being made to reestablish personal security and rebuild police, prison and judicial services with DFID support. DFID has co-funded Interpeace to advance and underpin processes of peace building and state building in Somalia. DFID is also funding UNIFEM's Somali Women's Platform for Action (SWOPA) to improve female civil society involvement in politics and development. The UK has recently offered £4m towards AMISOM deployment and is prepared to assist with the arrangement of the Reconciliation Congress in Mogadishu in April.

Health and HIV/AIDS

DFID supports emergency health and nutrition interventions in southern and central Somalia through humanitarian agencies (UNICEF & OCHA) and NGOs. Specifically: ICRC - emergency surgical facilities in Mogadishu; MSF - Bakool, and south Juba; IMC - Bakool; World Vision -Middle Juba; Gedo Health Consortium and the OCHA Humanitarian Response Fund. At HQ level DFID supports GAVI and GFATM. In 2005, we gave assistance to WHO for polio immunisation, after the outbreak. We have committed funds to support the national response to HIV/AIDS through a capacity building programme implemented by UNDP and UNAIDS. In the past year AIDS Commissions have been established in Somaliland, Puntland and Central South with DFID's support. We are currently proposing a shift towards a more strategic, sector-wide approach to health issues and recently have been working with a group of British NGOs, the EC and UNICEF to channel funding into health systems strengthening in Somaliland as a pilot for the rest of the country.


DFID supports the education sector through UN and INGO partners. Our current portfolio includes a 3 year £6 million partnership agreement with UNESCO and UNICEF, which aims to strengthen education systems, increase access to schools and reduce and eventual abolish user fees. Our support focuses strongly on girl's education including increasing access and enrolment. We also support education services in Belet'Weyne in Hiraan through Save the Children, and in Somaliland via the Africa Education Trust.

Food security and Hunger

DFID committed £11.8m humanitarian assistance at the onset of the Horn of Africa drought late 2005. We were already funding emergency interventions in the worst-affected areas through MSF, ICRC, and IMC. We have since committed a further £7m to humanitarian relief since April 2006 including £1m to UNICEF's emergency medical and nutritional programme, £700,000 to improve coordination of the humanitarian response, £2m to support flood affected areas and £2m to ICRC's 2007 Somalia Appeal.

Trade & Growth (including Agriculture)

The economy is surprisingly robust with strong exports of live animals (Kenya and the Gulf) and growth of new economic activities (e.g. telecoms). The economy includes about $1bn of remittances from the Diaspora, which also support a strong remittance (known as hawallah) financial sector. DFID has recently committed £3m to ILO for the 2006-8 Somalia Employment, Enterprise and Livelihoods (EEL) Programme to contribute to sustainable economic growth and diversification in Somalia and Somaliland.

Making progress against the Millennium Development Goals...

There is insufficient data to plot progress but Somalia is probably seriously off track. With the current political instability it is unlikely that Somalia will reverse this pattern in the near future.


(1) There has been no census since 1975. This range is used in the RDF for Somalia and produced by the TFG Minister for Planning.

(2) UNFPA Report 2005

(3) "The State of the Worlds Children" UNICEF 2006

(4) FAO recently reported that in 2002, 43% of the population have incomes below $1 per day.

(5) EC Statistics 2006

(6) UNDP Human Development Indicators, 2001

(7) "The State of the Worlds Children" UNICEF 2006

(8) "Maternal Mortality", estimates by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA

(9) WHO sero-prevalence study in 2004

(10) "The State of the Worlds Children" UNICEF 2006

(11) FAO/FSAU-led 06/07 post Deyr survey