Somalilandsun: As we head into 2021, Somalia is facing a myriad of persistent and protracted humanitarian crises driven by alarming political instability, widespread insecurity and recurring climate disasters.
While we continue to address the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, recovery challenges remain well ahead. Among those who bear the disproportionate burden of poverty and insecurity are women, children, people with disabilities, marginalized communities and displaced persons.
They deserve far more, and we will continue to stand with them. The humanitarian community in Somalia faced unprecedented and exceptional challenges in 2020, and I am sincerely grateful to all our partners, in particular the Federal Government of Somalia, the Federal Member States, local and international NGOs and our donors, for the strong collaboration and support that enabled us to reach 2.3 out of 3 million people targeted for humanitarian assistance in 2020.
The generosity of our donors who provided 82 per cent of the required funding under the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) enabled us to collectively prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable, saving lives and alleviating suffering for countless individuals. New emergencies and the lingering impact of last year’s multiple crises resulted in the humanitarian needs of 2021 being estimated as far greater than 2020. Based on this new reality, humanitarian partners and relevant authorities have been diligent in ensuring that the 2021 HRP is strictly prioritized.
The 2021 HRP requires US$ 1.09 billion to implement, a slight increase from the $1.01 billion required in 2020. This funding will meet the needs of 4 out of 5.9 million people who will need humanitarian assistance, an increase from 5.2 million persons in 2020. It is imperative that the HRP is funded fully and early to enable a rapid and robust response across the country. Erratic weather patterns are expected to continue in 2021, including the anticipated La Niña early in the year, with a high likelihood of drought conditions in Somalia.
Already, pre-drought conditions have been reported in several States. Furthermore, the situation of protection of civilians in the country is alarming. In 2020, 10,300 protection incidents were recorded, including targeted and indiscriminate physical attacks on civilians and on property, widespread gender-based violence (GBV), child recruitment, family separation, arbitrary arrest, land-grabbing and extortion of assets from vulnerable groups. I am deeply saddened that last year, a staggering 255 incidents occurred impacting humanitarian operations, in which 15 humanitarian workers were killed, compared to 151 incidents in 2019. Furthermore, insecurity hindered the delivery of assistance by rendering main supply routes impassable, forcing partners to rely heavily on air transport. In addition to humanitarian response, including emergency assistance, last year humanitarian partners made great progress in community engagement and ensuring accountability to affected populations.
This included enhanced data collection for use in strategic planning and response in the HRP. Similarly, significant strides were made last year to operationalize the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in Somalia. Still, efforts to address the root causes of crises and longer-term development to enable sustainable solutions must continue. We will keep building on these efforts in 2021, including through resilience-focused activities in the 2021 HRP. The localisation agenda remains central in the Somalia humanitarian response as it is an essential part of the Grand Bargain commitments. I am committed to making the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) a pivotal instrument in delivering on the localisation agenda. In 2020, 53 per cent of its funds was allocated to front-line, national NGOs.
Notwithstanding the enormity of the challenges and a complex operating environment, the resolve of humanitarian partners to work in close coordination with the Government and authorities to provide lifesaving assistance to those who need it most remains firm. It is my most sincere hope that through sustained support from all partners and donors, the humanitarian community will be able to achieve the goals set out in this strictly prioritized plan. The country’s most vulnerable deserve no less. Let us not fail them. Adam Abdelmoula Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Response Plan Overview PEOPLE IN NEED 5.9M PEOPLE TARGETED 4M REQUIREMENTS (US$) $1.09B OPERATIONAL PARTNERS 363 The humanitarian situation in Somalia has worsened due to the devastating combination of conflict, as well as increasingly unpredictable and erratic weather and climate shocks including drought.
Three additional shocks – a Desert Locust upsurge, extensive flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic – deepened the scale and scope of the humanitarian crisis in 2020, and their consequences will continue to exacerbate humanitarian needs in 2021. The upsurge of Desert Locusts that began in late 2019 continued into 2020, affecting around 685,000 persons countrywide, while nearly 2 million persons were affected by floods in 2020. In 2021, Somalia is expected to continue facing significant humanitarian challenges. Together with Somalia authorities, humanitarian partners have identified several complex threats that are likely to shape humanitarian conditions over the next year.
Drought conditions are predicted due to the risks associated with the high chance of a La Niña developing through March, which will likely affect crop production and food security. Between 76,000 and 250,000 people are projected to be displaced by floods and an estimated 190,000 people will be displaced by conflict, while there is a risk of additional displacement in case the electoral process falters, or drought conditions are particularly severe. In addition, Somalia will have to handle the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. While the overall impact of COVID-19 has been less dire than expected, the pandemic has reduced the country’s exports, revenue and remittances from abroad that millions depend on, further impacting poor households. There will be a spike in the number of people in need in 2021, driven by climate shocks, conflict and increased vulnerability, resulting in 5.9 million people requiring humanitarian assistance.
This includes 4.3 million non-displaced people, 1.6 million people displaced by conflict, insecurity, droughts and floods, as well as 109,989 refugee returnees, and 28,002 refugees and asylum seekers. The 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan prioritizes assistance to 4 million people in the most dire need. It aims to reduce the loss of life for 3.1 million of the most severely vulnerable people, including 1 million children under 5, by decreasing the prevalence of hunger, acute malnutrition, public health threats and outbreaks, and abuse and violence by the end of 2021, including the provision of life-saving food assistance to 3.1 million IDPs and non-IDPs in crisis and emergency phases of food insecurity, while increasing access to basic services and livelihoods support. A key response priority is to ensure that 2.8 million people receive critical, lifesaving assistance so their health, nutrition and shortterm capacity to survive are not compromised.
This includes children under 5, vulnerable women, persons with disabilities and the most vulnerable among IDP and non-IDP populations. In 2020, despite operational and access challenges, humanitarian organizations provided assistance to nearly 2.3 million people out of a targeted 3 million with 82 per cent per cent of funding received ($828 million of $1.01 billion required).
However, funds were not allocated evenly across clusters, and only three received more than 50 per cent of their budgetary requirements. The 2021 HRP seeks $1.09 billion to provide life-saving assistance across Somalia. The appeal covers requirements across eight emergency clusters, spanning education, food security and livelihoods, health, logistics, non-food items (NFIs) and emergency shelter, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). It is imperative that the HRP is funded fully and early to enable a rapid and robust response across the country.
Read Somalia: Humanitarian Response Plan 2021 (February 2021) HERE
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.