The humanitarian situation in Somalia was characterized by climatic shocks, violence and conflict in 2018. Early in the year drought conditions led to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, mainly in the north, followed by the above-average Gu rains, which, together with the sustained humanitarian response, contributed to an improvement in the food security outlook in most parts of the country by mid-2018. But rains also caused flooding resulting in displacements and destruction of crops and infrastructure. In May, Cyclone Sagar caused devastation in parts of northern Somalia, further compounding the humanitarian situation, mainly for communities who had already lost most of their livelihood due to prolonged drought and conflict. By end-2018, the risk of drought was again elevated due to the below-average to poor Deyr rains in most parts of north-east and central Somalia, but also pockets in the south. One third of Somalis (4.6 million) were food insecure; 4.2 million were in need of humanitarian assistance; and some 2.6 million were internally displaced.
The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) continued to play a critical role in responding to the highest priority needs of the most affected people through promoting direct implementation, multi-cluster response and working with partners best-placed to respond, including national and local actors. The 1st SHF 2018 standard allocation (US$21.7 million) boosted drought response, improved access to services in underserved areas and helped sustain response in IDP settlements. Some $13 million was channeled through multiple reserve allocations throughout the year: $1 million for child protection and education interventions in response to floods, complementing the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) grants in the flood-affected areas; $3.2 million for response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Sagar in Awdal region; $7.5 million for the areas most affected by the drought by mid-2018 (Bari, Nugaal, Sool and Sanaag); and $1.3 million for floods preparedness action in the Hirshabelle State. At the tail end of 2018, the 2nd Standard Allocation ($18.2 million) provided critical funding to sustain life-saving interventions in IDP settlements and to help address emerging gaps in some underserved and hard-to-reach areas.