Somalia: Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin No. 1, 1 - 8 Jan 2010

Situation Report
Originally published


WFP Suspension

WFP has suspended its work in much of Southern Somalia due to escalating threats and attacks against its staff, and unacceptable demands by armed groups controlling the area. In a statement issued on 5 January, WFP stated that it "is deeply concerned about rising hunger and suffering among the most vulnerable due to these unprecedented and inhumane attacks on purely humanitarian operations."

WFP is repositioning stocks from southern areas in case people begin to move away from areas where food distributions have been suspended. Its offices in Waajid, Bu'aale, Garbahaarey, Jilib, and Belet Weyne in the south are temporarily closed, and staff were moved to safer places.

Before it was forced to temporarily suspend its operations in parts of the south, WFP planned not to undertake general food distributions for January and February because of the expected harvest. WFP continues to provide life-saving food distributions to the rest of the country, including Mogadishu, for 1.8 million people or over two-thirds of the people in need.

Dhuusamarreeb - Situation & Response

On 2 January, heavy fighting broke out in Dhuusamarreeb town, Galgaduud region, between Ahlu Sunna Wal Jaama (a religious Sufi group) and Al Shabaab. WHO and health partners on the ground estimate that 150 people were killed, and more than 80 wounded.

According to UNHCR's preliminary data, the one-day fighting provoked the displacement of an estimated 6,600 people. The majority of the displaced are scattered to the surrounding villages and are not expected to return soon as new clashes are expected.

The newly displaced are in urgent need of safe drinking water, shelter material, medical supplies and food. Of major concern is increasing Acute Respiratory infections (ARI) and Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) and the risk of outbreaks of disease due to a lack of safe water supply and sanitation facilities.

Humanitarian assistance reaching the newly displaced is limited due to access constraints. With funding from the Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF), the INGO CISP together with its local partner IIDA supports the hospital in Dhuusamarreeb. Drugs purchased under the HRF project will be transported to Dhuusamarreeb in the coming days, and will be used to respond to urgent health and nutrition needs among recently displaced people and others affected by the fighting.

In neighbouring Ceel Buur district, INGO Merlin, also provides emergency healthcare with HRF support at six mother-and-child health centres and health posts. Merlin has medical supplies pre-positioned in Ceel Buur that will be sent to the affected areas.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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