The coronavirus pandemic has worsened Somalia’s humanitarian and socioeconomic crises, exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities and hurting livelihoods, especially among low-income families. Analysis by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network and Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit , indicates that poor urban households, IDPs and pastoralists are likely to be most affected by an estimated 3 to 50 per cent decline in annual external remittances, an anticipated 25 to 35 per cent decline in annual livestock exports, lower labour demand, and above average imported staple food prices.
Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases have declined in recent weeks, but overall numbers remain high with 3,135 cases and 93 deaths recorded as of 22 July. Humanitarian partners are continuing to expand COVID-19 responses to mitigate the further spread and impact of the pandemic. Testing capacity has been expanded with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratories operating in Mogadishu, Garowe and Hargeysa. With WHO support, GeneXpert machines are now being used for COVID-19 as well as TB testing at the following centers: Kismayo, Belet Xaawo, Baidoa, Johwar and Martini hospital in Mogadishu, which has two machines. The Belet Weyne TB centre is being prepared. In addition, six other GeneXpert machines in Mogadishu TB centers are ready to start testing but the available test kits are being reserved for the states until some more kits are brought in.
To fund the scale up, US$37 million (16.4 per cent of total funding required) has been received to implement the Somalia component of the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, but $186.2 million is still needed to meet the immediate health and humanitarian needs of people affected by COVID-19 in Somalia.
Almost half of the funding so far received has been provided for distribution across multiple clusters including health, protection, nutrition and WASH. The remaining funds have been allocated primarily for food security and protection, with smaller contributions for CCCM, Enabling Programmes and WASH. Protection is the best covered cluster, with a quarter of its funding needs met. Five clusters have not yet received any funding, including education which has the third largest budgetary needs following food security and health.