The humanitarian community in Somalia, on Tuesday, launched a prioritised Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2016 in Mogadishu calling on the international community to ensure predictable and timely funding. The new plan is seeking USD $885 million to reach 3.5 million people with urgent life-saving assistance by the end of 2016.
The 2016 HRP comes against a backdrop of acute humanitarian needs with an estimated 4.9 million people in need of life-saving and livelihoods support. Over 1.1 million people remain internally displaced and have been waiting for too long for durable solutions to stop their ordeal. An estimated 308 000 children under the age of five years are acutely malnourished, with 56 000 of them facing death if not treated. Poor access to primary health care puts some 1.9 million people at risk of death of preventable diseases. The maternal mortality ratio for Somalia is among the highest in the world. 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 into crisis by providing life-saving assistance, building resilience and strengthening protection for vulnerable groups,” said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “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.”
Refugees and returnees fleeing the Yemen crisis also continue to arrive in Somalia with almost 30,000 people received so far and more expected in 2016, as well as returnees from Kenya. This has significantly exacerbated the humanitarian needs, along with the El Niño phenomenon that intensified extensive flooding and drought affecting some 145,000 people. Through effective cooperation between the Somali Government and the International Community, including the UN, the impact of El Niño in 2015 the impact could fortunately be curtailed.
“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,” said Mohamed Omar Arteh, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia.
The 2016 plan is part of a three-year strategy (2016-2018), which recognizes that the drivers of needs in Somalia are largely cyclical and long-running, and cannot be resolved in a single year. Enhancing communities’ ability cope with shocks through the long-term sustainable livelihood support and basic services, including durable solutions, in a community-based approach, will be vital in addressing underlying causes of vulnerabilities. Durable solutions initiatives, targeting underlying causes of humanitarian problems are under way, particularly in addressing the longstanding IDP crisis, with the cooperation of one of the world’s leading experts on the issue, professor Walter Kaelin.