NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – Charitable organisations have launched an appeal for Sh90 billion to avert a humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
Deputy Head at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia Sofie Garde says the aid is expected to reach 3.5 million people with urgent needs.
“It does include a system to those Somalis currently living abroad, who will be looking at returning to Somalia, planning figures for those arriving from neighbouring countries and combined with Internally Displaced Persons who will also be given assistance,” she said.
More than 60,000 Somalis are expected to return to their country this year compared to 31,494 who returned last year.
Of these, 11,547 are expected to be refugees against 5,911 who returned in 2015.
Garde said with the ongoing peace campaign in Somalia led by AMISOM, the situation in Somalia was much better.
The plan comes against a backdrop of acute humanitarian needs where according to Garde over 1.1 million people remain internally displaced among them 308,000 children under the age of five who are acutely malnourished.
The plan is part of three year strategy which is set to find durable solutions initiatives targeting underlying causes of humanitarian problems like the Internally Displaced Persons crisis.
“We are looking very much at addressing acute needs,” she assured. “We are also looking at helping people back in their feet, building resilience and ensure people can sustain future shocks.”
Areas of concern include persistent food insecurity, continued high levels of acute malnutrition, poor access to basic services and civilian protection challenges.
According to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) working with technical partners, the number of people who face acute food insecurity has exceeded one million.
“Overall, about 4.9 million people are expected to remain in need of humanitarian assistance as we enter 2016,” reads a report on the overview of needs.
On civilian protection, the report laments vulnerable communities lack land tenure and property rights.
“An estimated 116,000 internally displaced persons were forcibly evicted in Baidoa, Bossaso, Gaalkacyo, Hargeysa, Kismayu and Mogadishu during the first half of 2015,” it reads.
According to Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Mogadishu, Somalia, the maternal mortality of the country is among the highest in the world.
Statistics shows that some 2.8 million people need improved access to water and 1.7 million children are still out of school.
“The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan represents a collective vision of the entire humanitarian community in Somalia, which aims to bring down the levels of critical vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of people sliding further crisis by providing life-saving assistance, building resilience and strengthening protection for vulnerable groups,” Clercq said.
“We aim to reduce the number of people requiring food assistance from 4.9 million to 3.2 million people and reduce malnutrition prevalence rates by the end of 2016. With adequate support, we can reduce deaths caused by preventable causes.”
Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia Mohamed Omar Arteh says, “The 2016 HRP is an opportunity to strengthen collaboration in addressing both life saving and long term development needs through existing initiatives, including the New Deal framework.”
“Timely funding has a huge impact on cost effectiveness and appropriateness of response in both cases.”