Somalilandsun: In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched a specific COVID Appeal on 14 July 2020. By the end of August 2020, the campaign had raised over £22.5 million, Including UK Aid Match.
DEC MEMBER CHARITIES are Action against Hunger, Action Aid ,Islamic Relief Worldwide and Plan International and work closely with OCHA, WHO and Ministries of Health.
Selecting countries based on forecasts of the humanitarian needs that would be created by the COVID-19 epidemic was challenging and decisions had to be made with a ‘no regrets’ approach.
In the end, the funds raised by the Coronavirus 2020 Appeal were allocated to 14 DEC members already working in 7 fragile states in Asia (Afghanistan and Bangladesh for the Rohingya crisis), the Middle East (Yemen and Syria) and Africa (DRC, Somaliland, Somalia and South Sudan). These were selected as priority countries facing a critical situation exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.
Justifying the selection of Somaliland and Somalia as beneficiary countries of the Covid-19 appeal DEC states that with The political situation in a country is one of the key parameters that determine whether or not a crisis can be mitigated: Somalia is a very good example of this paradigm.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL SOMALIA: PROGRESS, BUT FAR FROM STABILIZED PEACE
In South and Central Somalia, the situation evolved rapidly after the 2005-6 drought with the transformation of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) into the AS movement which rapidly took over large parts of the country even on the onslaught by AMISOM a 20,000 strong African countries force supported by the UN and others.
THE SPECIFIC CASE OF SOMALILAND:
With a constitution and an elected government and parliament since 2003, the Republic of Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in 1991, has a much more democratic system. The shift from a clan-based system to one based on political parties has meant that the country has been relatively peaceful over an extended period.
Somaliland has not had any major security incidents in years. However, the current deterioration of the situation with Puntland in the Sool- Sanaag plateau is a source of concern as it is currently developing into a real military confrontation
In Somaliland and Somalia the funds were used to adapt on-going projects and to develop new projects to respond to the anticipated health and non-health impacts of the pandemic, as well as to cope with the impacts of the measures taken to stop it. Special attention was given to specific due diligence and protection measures for staff and partners.
Existing DEC interventions in the two countries that benefited from the specific COVID-19 appeal include Health,
– Water Sanitation and Hygiene,
– Economic Security (Food, Livelihoods and
multipurpose cash assistance)
– and Protection
As a first step of the multi-year learning process, the Response Review supports real-time collective learning in order to identify lessons and adjustments for the second phase of the response. Based on key documents and interviews with key stakeholders.
The real-time learning studied the Political and Security context of Somalia and Somaliland with emphasis on a Pandemic in a war Context
In its first report titled DEC CVA REAL-TIME RESPONSE REVIEW:SOMALIA AND SOMALILAND Country report researchers reveal lessons learned during the reporting period as that “Although the virus did not have the catastrophic impact that had been feared early in the year, the decision to Allocate resources raised by the DEC COVID-19 Appeal to Somalia and Somaliland made sense as part of a ‘no regrets’ approach Given the complexity of the situation and its potentially devastating evolution.
Adding that despite being “Faced with the pandemic, DEC Member Charities in Somalia proved to be creative and capable of adjusting to The situation, the funding helped to adapt and respond to the challenges brought by the pandemic.
The report recommends that all stakeholders in Somaliland and Somalia should
•Actively pursue efforts to understand the evolution of the pandemic in order to remain relevant in all activities in order to remain alert and able to react in the event of a new wave.
•Since most health measures and hygiene messages are valid for many different contagious risks, ensure that they are fully incorporated into routine protocols (in health structures and schools, for instance) and in the Creation of rapid response capacities in case there is a resurgence of Covid-19 or for any other epidemic Outbreak.
•Pursue efforts to support food security through CVA and the injection of cash into the economic system (cash for work, etc.) with a specific focus on the elderly.
•Reinforce monitoring systems on protection issues and develop response capacities. And
•Explore opportunities to provide assistance in the Education sector either through support to teachers, the development of remote teaching systems or by supporting children who are at risk since the school closures.
Read DEC CVA REAL-TIME RESPONSE REVIEW:SOMALIA AND SOMALILAND Country report HERE