Somalia is experiencing a large-scale humanitarian crisis due to the compounding effects of protracted conflict and drought. Gender inequality exacerbated by poverty, environmental shocks, decades of conflict and weak rule of law have undermined individuals’, families’ and communities’ abilities to cope. Approximately half the population – 6.2 million people – need humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs and protect their most fundamental rights.
The number of people displaced has increased significantly since the onset of the drought in 2015. There are now 2.1 million people across Somalia displaced from their homes. The majority of those displaced are women and children who have migrated to urban centers in search of food, water and economic opportunities. They are now living in formal and informal settlements for internally displaced persons (IDPs) that are largely managed by private land owners or “gatekeepers” who often take advantage of their vulnerable status by charging exorbitant prices for basic necessities, and providing very little in the way of personal protection. Lack of purchasing power coupled with exposed living conditions make these women and child-led households extremely vulnerable to exploitation and other forms of abuse. GBV data indicates that 74% of survivors who accessed services in 2016 were IDPs; 99% of whom were female.
It is in this context that members of the Somalia Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-cluster developed this three-year strategy to guide advocacy and programming efforts in the three regions of Somalia. This strategy was developed to complement existing humanitarian and development processes such as the National Development Plan (NDP), the Drought Impact Needs Assessment (DINA) and resultant Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF), the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and the HCT-led Centrality of Protection Strategy (COP).
After a lengthy consultative process, stakeholders identified the following three strategic priorities as the basis for interventions:
1. Strengthening GBV service provision and service provider capacity through enhanced coordination
2. Data management and evidence-based advocacy
3. Positive gender and social norm change around GBV
The strategy attempts to bridge the gap between humanitarian (direct service provision) and development (social norm change) interventions by emphasizing the importance of using an evidence-based approach.
The priorities along with outcomes and outputs are presented in a logframe at the end of the document. The members of the Sub-cluster provided strategic actions that they will implement throughout 2018, given adequate funding. The Strategy will guide partners through 2020, but the logframe will be reviewed, and revised if necessary, on a yearly basis to ensure it is meeting real-time needs.
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the local authorities in Puntland and Somaliland and the international community all agree that mitigating and preventing GBV is a priority. The Sub-cluster, chaired by UNFPA and Ministerial counterparts across the three regions, is comprised of more than 40 members; most of whom are national and local organizations providing direct services to survivors of GBV. Members will be engaging in a series of activities over the next three years in coordination with the Government to build a society that promotes the human rights of all individuals through preventing GBV and providing quality, multi-sectoral services to survivors.