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Humanitarian situation in Somalia: UN report

By Tajuddin
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Oct 12th, 2016
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Humanitarian crisis in Somalia

Humanitarian crisis in Somalia

New York ( reliefweb + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Letter dated 29 September 2016 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea addressed to the President of the Security Council

On behalf of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea, and in accordance with paragraph 24 of Security Council resolution 2244 (2015), I have the honour to transmit herewith the report of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia and on any impediments thereto.

I would appreciate it if the present letter and the report were brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.

(Signed) Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño
Chair
Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea

Letter dated 19 September 2016 from the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator addressed to the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea

In accordance with paragraph 24 of Security Council resolution 2244 (2015), I have the honour to transmit the requested report on the implementation of paragraphs 23 and 24 of the resolution and on any impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.

The humanitarian community working in Somalia wishes to advise that, as with the previous 10 reports, it maintains the definition of “implementing partner” pursuant to paragraph 5 of Security Council resolution 1916 (2010), which is as follows:

“Implementing partner” — a non-governmental organization (NGO) or community-based organization that has undergone due diligence to establish its bona fides by a United Nations agency or another NGO and that reports when requested to the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia on mitigation measures. Implementing partners have the following characteristics:

(a) The organization is part of the consolidated appeals process for Somalia (or the Common Humanitarian Fund) process; and/or

(b) The organization is represented in a cluster’s 3W matrix (Who does What and Where).

I remain available should you have any questions about the content of the report or need further clarification on the humanitarian situation in Somalia.

(Signed) Kyung-wha Kang
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator

Report of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2244 (2015), the resolution succeeding resolutions 1916 (2010), 1972 (2011), 2060 (2012), 2111 (2013) and 2182 (2014), in which the Council established the reporting requirement, and the eleventh submission in total pursuant to those resolutions. The Council, in paragraph 24 of its resolution 2244 (2015), requested the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator to report by 15 October 2016 on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia and any impediments thereto.

2. The present report covers the period from September 2015 to September 2016. It is focused primarily on the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected people in areas under the control or influence of Al-Shabaab, which was included on the sanctions list pursuant to paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1844 (2008), by the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea on 12 April 2010. As in the previous 10 reports (S/2010/372, S/2010/580, S/2011/125, S/2011/694, S/2012/546, S/2012/856, S/2013/415, S/2014/177, S/2014/655 and S/2015/731), outlined herein are constraints to humanitarian access and the operational implications thereof, as well as mitigation measures put in place to address the politicization, misuse and misappropriation of humanitarian assistance. The report is based on information gathered in consultation with relevant humanitarian organizations active in Somalia and information from the Risk Management Unit in the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Somalia.

Humanitarian situation

3. The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains precarious owing to persistent climate variability, armed conflict, clan violence, insecurity, human rights violations, displacement and poor basic services. During the deyr rainy season between October and December 2015, flooding affected an estimated 145,200 people. Some 70,000 people were also displaced by floods in Beledweyne, Hiraan region, in May 2016. Humanitarian partners provided life-saving assistance and rehabilitated damaged infrastructure to mitigate the impact of future flooding. Drought conditions since September 2015 exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon also compounded an already-fragile humanitarian situation, with some 5 million people in total, or 41 per cent of the population, in need of assistance. More than 1.1 million people are unable to meet their basic food needs. Some 300,000 children under 5 years of age are acutely malnourished, including more than 50,000 who are severely malnourished and require urgent treatment. The northern regions of Puntland and Somaliland were hardest hit by the drought. Partners mounted a life-saving response in those regions, but, while the gu rains from March to June provided some relief, they were not sufficient to enable a full recovery. In August, the Puntland authorities appealed for humanitarian assistance for more than 1.2 million people affected by drought. Furthermore, the food security situation in parts of the country is expected to deteriorate between October and December owing to erratic rains and a below-average gu harvest, especially in the major cereal-producing regions of Bay and Shabelle Hoose.

4. Acute watery diarrhoea/cholera remained a challenge in 2016. From January to mid-July, more than 13,000 cases, over half of them children under 5 years of age, were reported, an alarming increase when compared with the 5,257 cases reported in 2015 as a whole. With the support of partners, the Ministry of Health finalized the first draft of a five-year preparedness and response plan of action against acute watery diarrhoea/cholera. The outbreak came at a time when critical health services were already at risk of being scaled down for lack of funding. By the first quarter of 2016, at least 10 health facilities had either reduced their services or closed for lack of funding, while those that remained open were struggling to meet health needs. Overall, some 3.2 million people are in need of access to minimum emergency health services.

5. The access challenges, insecurity and funding gaps notwithstanding, partners had reached about 2.5 million people with some form of assistance by December 2015. Premised on the 2016 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, assistance continued to reach those in need. Between January and June 2016, humanitarian partners reached 490,500 people with food assistance and 142,400 people with activities aimed at building livelihoods. Some 490,000 people were reached with livelihood seasonal inputs, including seeds, tools, fishing equipment, irrigation vouchers and livestock vaccinations. A total of 125,000 children under 5 years of age were treated for acute malnutrition. More than 1.6 million people received basic health services, and in excess of 1 million were provided with temporary or sustainable access to safe water. The protection cluster also reached nearly 123,000 people, while education partners reached 89,000 learners with temporary learning spaces, school supplies and school feeding programmes. More than 81,600 people were assisted with non-food items and transitional shelter.

6. The 2016 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan remained underfunded compared with the persistently high needs. By the end of September, it had received $297 million, or 34 per cent, of the $885 million requested. Another $116 million was provided for the humanitarian response outside the Plan. The Plan is premised on a three-year strategy (2016-2018) that takes into account that drivers of needs in Somalia are largely cyclical and long running and therefore cannot be resolved in a single year. To achieve the vision outlined in the Plan, predictable and timely funding is crucial to enhance preparedness and early response. A call for aid was launched on 31 March by the humanitarian country team, requesting $127 million for drought response in Puntland and Somaliland. With needs increasing as a result of drought, flooding and acute watery diarrhoea/cholera, pooled funds (the Central Emergency Response Fund and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund) have boosted the response. Since January, $29.2 million has been allocated collectively from pooled funds, with an estimated $22.3 million used to ramp up drought response in Puntland and Somaliland, flood response in Beledweyne, Hiraan region, and acute watery diarrhoea/cholera response in the Banaadir, Juba Hoose and Shabelle Hoose regions. Another $7 million is supporting the humanitarian response to internally displaced persons in Baidoa, Bay region, and Kismaayo, Juba Hoose region.

7. In May 2016, the Government of Kenya, driven by what it described as security concerns, announced its intention to expedite the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp, which mainly hosts Somali refugees. While continuing to advocate that returns and other durable solutions be carried out only on a voluntary basis, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and humanitarian partners have developed an action plan that provides for enhanced return assistance to address the most immediate humanitarian needs of returnees and to catalyse reintegration support through community-based projects in the key areas of return. According to the verification exercise undertaken between July and August 2016, Dadaab is host to about 280,000 refugees, down from over 326,000 in 2015. By August, more than 24,000 Somali refugees had returned to Somalia from the camp since the beginning of the voluntary repatriation in December 2014. Of those, 18,110 had returned since the beginning of 2016 alone, more than triple the number of returns recorded in 2014 and 2015 combined. A total of 10,057 people returned between June and August, pointing to a significant increase in the number of returns. Most of the returnees have settled in the Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Juba Dhexe, Juba Hoose and Shabelle Hoose regions and in the Banaadir region (Mogadishu). About 50,000 refugees have expressed a desire to return to Somalia before the end of 2016. Meanwhile, irregular migration of Somalis crossing the sea to seek opportunities abroad continues, owing to instability and a lack of education and employment opportunities. According to the Federal Government, 200 Somali migrants were among the 500 people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in a boat tragedy in April 2016. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, an estimated 32,400 people have arrived in Somalia from Yemen since March 2015, of whom more than 28,000 are Somalis. In addition, more than 1.1 million Somalis remain internally displaced and continue to face a high risk of forced eviction, discrimination, violation of children’s rights and gender-based violence. Almost 130,000 internally displaced persons were forcibly evicted in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Boosaaso, Gaalkacyo, Hargeysa and Kismaayo in 2015, while 31,000 have been forcefully evicted since the beginning of 2016.

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