Somalia

Somalia: Situation Report No. 46 - 21 Nov 2008

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Key Overall Developments

FAO's Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) reported that the threats of floods in the riverine areas of South Somalia are diminishing in the upper river reaches of Juba River. However, river levels are still high in the mid-and lower reaches. Consequently, there is still the possibility of reduced moderate flooding in the lower reaches of the Juba for the coming week. River levels for the Shabelle have been rising and raising concerns especially near Jowhar, in Middle Shabelle region, and surrounding areas where uncontrolled irrigation activities are ongoing. With the opening of Belet Weyne flood control canal on 17 November and the partial opening of the Chinese canal on 18 November, river levels are expected to decrease downstream. Nevertheless, there is the still possibility of flooding in the lower lying areas and lower reaches of the river. The rainfall forecast for the coming days is pointing towards little to no rains in Ethiopia and Somalia. Confirmed reports of displacement due to flooding remain the 400 households reported last week in Baardheere town, Gedo region.

On 11-12 November, an estimated 25,000 people fled Ceel Waaq town, Gedo region, UNHCR's Population Movement Tracking (PMT) reported. The displacement was triggered by a security operation by the Kenyan Government following the abduction of two Italian nuns on 10 November in Kenya, near the Somali border. As of 20 November, a majority of the 25,000 people remained displaced and are in need of humanitarian assistance.

On 16 November, fighting broke out in Ceelasha IDP settlement along the Afgooye corridor, between two rival factions of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). Five civilians were killed. The fighting caused temporary displaced as the IDPs who fled returned once the fighting stopped. The situation in the area remains tense.

Insecurity, although at a lower level, continued in other parts of South Central Somalia. On 16 November, two hand grenades were thrown into the main market of Baidoa, Bay region. Four women were killed and at least 13 other women were injured.

According to Protection partners in Somaliland, attacks against IDPs from South Central Somalia continue to increase following the 29 October suicide bombings in Hargeysa. Due to recurring threats, many of the IDPs are reported to be leaving Somaliland. PMT partners reported that during the past week, 400 have returned to Mogadishu despite the insecurity there.

A total shipment of 21,300 mt of assorted food commodities in three vessels under NATO escort left Mombasa for Somalia on 20 November. A Turkish warship under the NATO flag escorted 11,000 mt of food from Mombasa to Berbera Port in the Gulf of Aden, Somaliland. This is the first escort voyage NATO has undertaken to Berbera. The Greek navy escorted two ships carrying a total of 10,300 mt to Marka and Mogadishu ports.

On 19 November, the UN Secretary General launched an appeal for US$7 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to 30 million people in 31 countries worldwide including Somalia. The Humanitarian Appeal 2009 is the biggest Appeal ever launched since the creation of the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) in 1991. The 2008 appeal was US$3.8 billion for 25 million people. On 1 December 2008, the Somalia CAP for 2009 will be launched in Nairobi, appealing for around US$900 million targeting the needs of 3.2 million people.

Response

The current availability of non-cereals in the pipeline has boosted the November food aid distribution plan. Within the first two weeks of November, WFP has dispatched 19,900 mt of assorted commodities to South Central Somalia. Despite the rainy season and insecurity, 60 percent of the distribution plan (32,950 mt) has already been dispatched. In November, WFP is targeting 2.3 million people with 39,000 mt of food in Somalia.

On 13 November, WFP delivered food for 400,000 IDPs in Afgooye corridor, Lower Shebelle region. A convoy of trucks from Mogadishu safely delivered 4,230 mt of food to Afgooye.

WFP resumed programme activities in Somaliland after about a week of temporary suspension following the recent bomb blasts in Hargeysa. During the week, WFP distributed a total of 522 mt (45% of the plan for November) through various projects. Food dispatches have been slow due to security concerns which make staff daily attendance irregular. WFP also began the delivery of Non Food Items (NFIs) of assorted kitchen utensils and cutleries to 105 new schools in Somaliland for the implementation of school feeding programme.

WFP distributed 758 mt of assorted food to some 44,620 beneficiaries in Waajid, Baidoa and Garbaharey in Bay, Gedo and Bakool regions for general food distribution and supplementary feeding. Insecurity has affected the implementation of some of the planned programme activities in parts of South Central Somalia.

For further Information in English, contact: Rita Maingi on +254 734 800 120 - maingir@un.org,

in Somali, contact Muna Mohamed on + 254 733 643 737 - mohamed26@un.org

Website address: http://ochaonline.un.org/somalia

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