The Somalia crisis remains one of the largest and most complex in the world. Moreover, a shortfall in funding jeopardizes efforts to build Somalis‟ resilience to shocks.
The humanitarian situation in Somalia improved in the first half of 2013. The number of food-insecure people reduced, largely due to consecutive good rains and the delivery of assistance in more areas of the country. However, the scope of the humanitarian needs in Somalia remains vast.
One million people still require aid to meet their basic needs and a further 1.7 million who recently emerged from crisis1 could fall back into crisis without sustained support.
Even with the improved conditions, malnutrition rates in Somalia are among the highest in the world, with one in seven children acutely malnourished. Decades of conflict has also left over one million people internally displaced, and forced one million people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The prolonged crisis has translated into a weak socio-economic context with poor infrastructure, and households have little ability to absorb shocks caused by natural hazards, disease outbreaks, displacement, a poor harvest or other social and economic challenges.
Somalia is still one of the most challenging security environments for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Aid workers have capitalized on gradual improvements in security and access to scale up their presence on the ground and reach people in need. However they are still forced to seek ways to further scale up humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach areas through local partners. Given the current risk-averse approach by donors in Somalia, local NGOs based in hard-to-reach or non-accessible areas have little access to bilateral funding. At the same time, larger NGOs and organizations that have access to funding do not have access to hard-to-reach areas. In light of the 19 June 2013 attack on the UN Common Compound in Mogadishu, the UN is reviewing and reinforcing its security measures to ensure continued delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
Despite these challenges, so far this year, an average of 224,000 people per month have received food, vouchers or cash and livelihood assistance; nearly 200,000 malnourished children were reached with nutritional care; and more than 230,000 livestock were treated for diseases. In response to the multi-layered challenges facing Somalia, humanitarian partners are implementing a three-year humanitarian strategy to help Somalis be more resilient to shocks such as droughts, floods and cyclical food insecurity. The 2013-2015 CAP strategy prioritizes resiliencestrengthening as a key objective. By mid-year, only 33% of the requested $1.3 billion has been received. Humanitarian actors have had to focus on life-saving actions, and have made little investment in basic services, safety nets and resilience programmes, due to the limited funding thus far in 2013. This shortfall in funding is very alarming and undermines the ability of humanitarian actors to reach the longer-term goals of rebuilding Somalis‟ resilience, and will affect the success of the three-year strategy. It will also jeopardize efforts to finding lasting solutions for Somalia‟s 1.1 million IDPs. The importance of the comprehensive CAP approach was underlined in May 2013, when the first scientific study on the 2011 famine death toll was released. The study showed that about 258,000 people died as a result of severe food insecurity and famine between October 2010 and April 2012. Half of those who died were children under five, which amounted to 10% of children in southern and central Somalia. The report cited a combination of poverty, armed conflict, drought and disease as drivers of the famine.
Only with timely, adequate and sustained funding will humanitarians be able to effectively build on the gains made since late 2011 through investment in resilience to mitigate and avoid crises, and support the transition from aid dependence to sustainability. By investing in resilience now, we can prevent repeating mistakes from the past, and avoid a future humanitarian catastrophe. The three-year strategy is expected to increase the resilience of the people on an incremental basis in 2014 and 2015, building on the investments of 2013. The humanitarian community is also developing the capacity of communities, national partners and local authorities in disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness to avoid vulnerable people falling back into crisis after a shock. Unless these programmes receive more funding, the strategy will fail.
Although recent assessments show that the total number of people in need of humanitarian aid has decreased from 3.8 million to 2.7 million people in need, the strategic objectives and the total planning figure in the CAP have not been altered at mid-year. As this is the first of five reviews of the three-year CAP, the Somalia Humanitarian Country Team decided that the strategy to address underlying vulnerability is still appropriate. The CAP planning targets are based on historical data and patterns that have been prevalent over the past six years in Somalia. The targets, and possibly the strategy, will be revised at the second revision in October 2013.
The revised funding requirement for the first year of the 2013-2015 CAP is $1.153 billion, a decrease of $179 million from the original 2013 appeal of $1.33 billion. This is in line with the realistic implementation capacity of humanitarian agencies, for the remainder of the year.