Somalia

Somalia: Humanitarian Update Weekly Report 9 - 16 Jun 2005

Source
Posted
Originally published
Highlights

Political: Somali Government relocates from Kenya to Somalia

Floods: Juba and Shabelle rivers level fall diminishing flooding risks

Security: UNICEF resumes operations in Puntland but Gedo remains inaccessible as a result of renewed clan clashes

Protection/IDPs: Returnees and IDPs to benefit from a Japan funded housing project

Political:

The TFG officially relocated into Somalia on 14 June, eight months after its formation in Kenya. Media reports indicated that the faction leader controlling Jowhar had advised the Government to move to Mogadishu saying his town was too small to host the Government.

Security/Access

Security and lack of access to population in need of assistance continue to affect implementation of interventions in many parts of Somalia.

This week, UNICEF resumed operations in areas controlled by the Puntland Authority after the agency and the Authority promised to respect rules and regulations governing their operations.

UNICEF suspended operations nearly three weeks following death threats to its staff over contractual issues.

Aid agencies operating in Bender Beylar, Puntland have been requested by the UN Zonal Security Officer to be more vigilant following a security operation in the area in which 40 suspects were arrested.

Police arrested seven suspects said to be connected to an attack on an INGO contractor on 9 June 2005. The INGO resumed operations this week after the arrests.

A planned mission to discuss humanitarian access in Gedo region near the Somalia and Kenya border has been suspended due to a fresh outbreak of fighting between the Gare and Marehan clans in El-Wak Somalia. El Wak was recaptured by the Gare this month and the Marehan militias are reportedly regrouping. The humanitarian consequences resulting from the recent clash are not clear although some 15,000 to 20,000 displaced people remain in need of humanitarian assistance in the region as a result of the April clashes. They have been inaccessible to humanitarian actors because of prevailing insecurity in the area.

Meanwhile, following a meeting facilitated by the Nairobi OCHA RSO and attended by representatives of Somalia and Kenya UNCTs, a task force has been formed to facilitate flow of information on the humanitarian situation and interventions in Gedo and Mandera. The task force main function is to facilitate sharing of information on activities on both sides of the border given the cross-border dimension of the conflict.

An increase in fuel prices effected in Somaliland this week is likely to have an adverse effect on transport costs for humanitarian assistance and aid workers. Rental vehicle owners have proposed US$5 to US$30 increments in car hire on various routes within Hargeisa Town and to Sool and Sanaag or coastal areas. Reports indicated that traders have increased prices of essential commodities like sugar, rice and oil. Humanitarian agencies in Somaliland have planned a meeting to discuss the implications of the fuel increase.

Floods:

The river levels in both the Shabelle and Juba have significantly dropped over the past week eliminating the risk of further flooding. The Gu season is coming to an end in the Ethiopian catchments and in Somalia over the past weeks and Hagaar season is almost established. In Belet Weyne, the level dropped sharply from 8.6 to 4.5 meters in five days.

Despite the reduction in the river volumes, humanitarian assistance will be required to help affected population to recover their livelihoods. OCHA is coordinating an aerial and ground assessment along the Juba to identify affected populations and their needs in Juba Valley from 19 June to 29 June.

Protection/IDPs

Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Puntland will benefit from the construction of 340 houses under a project by UNHABITAT. It is funded by Japan and is expected to cost US$1,000,000. The project, Somalia Urban Development Program, was presented to the Puntland Authority on 14th June. It will be implemented at the old Garowe airport site. A similar project is being undertaken in Somaliland. The project is expected to benefit both host community and IDPs/returnees, draw support of target beneficiaries in the construction, eventual repayment of the cost of the houses spread over a period, and support of local economic development through sourcing of building materials. The duration of the project is one year at the end of which the conditions of the IDPS and urban poor would be improved.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.