Humanitarian Partners in Somalia Face Enormous Security Challenges Reaching People in Need

Humanitarian Partners in Somalia Face Enormous Security Challenges Reaching People in Need

Somalilandsun: Somalia’s unpredictable security context creates a challenging operational environment for humanitarian partners, hampering their ability to deliver assistance and restricting the ability of affected people to access services and assistance. In 2019, OCHA documented 151 violent incidents against humanitarian operations.

The incidents varied in nature, including directly targeted and incidental events ranging from physical violence leading to killings, kidnap for ransom, hijacks and ambush, looting and deliberate destruction of assets and facilities, arrest and detentions; and occupation of humanitarian facilities. The violent incidents resulted in the death of 12 staff, injury of 24, abduction of 21, arrest or temporary detention of 18, and the expulsion of two by authorities for alleged infractions.

In 2020, over 10 violent incidents against humanitarian operations were recorded in January and February. One third of the country is hard-to-reach by humanitarians, including 23 districts and 16 district capitals where around 1.3 million people in need reside. The indicators used to measure humanitarian access include road movements of humanitarian organisations, access by air, security incidents affecting aid agencies, stability of an area, bureaucratic or administrative impediments, checkpoints hindering movement of aid or personnel, security risk assessments and presence of international staff.

Humanitarian organizations have to deal with multiple requests

Reaching populations in areas controlled by armed non-state actors is extremely hard due to concerns for the safety of staff, opposition from other parties to the conflict and reported unwillingness of non-state actors to accept principled humanitarian operations in areas under their control, such as in areas of Jubaland, South West, Hirshabelle and Galmudug states. Interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities is the second most important access constraints. Humanitarian organisations have to deal with multiple requests such as arbitrary taxation, involvement of authorities in contracting suppliers and service providers and interference in staff recruitment.

In 2020, restriction of movements for organizations, personnel or goods and violence have been reported. Three different directives addressed to humanitarian NGOs in Hirshabelle demanding registration of NGOs and projects were issued by three different state ministries. In January 2020, violence incidents against humanitarian staff were reported in Hirshabelle and Jubaland. On 17 February and 1 March, mortars landed in the UN premises in Mogadishu, interrupting work for UN staff and contractors for some hours

Above analysis by OCHA