IOM Somalia aims to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity through the delivery of frontline services to crisis-affected populations, while steadily developing models and partnerships for longer-term recovery and migration governance. IOM is strategically well-placed to operationalise the humanitarian-development-peace nexus through its vast portfolio. IOM aims to catalyse programming from multiple units to provide more holistic support to communities in a way that reinforces government legitimacy and enables the government to deliver services.
Since the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, Somalia has suffered a highly complex protracted conflict characterized by changing political dynamics and power shifts. Since the formation of the Federal Government of Somalia in 2012, the country has made substantial progress towards restoring peace and security. However, political instability and armed conflict, compounded by clan dynamics driven by land and natural resources competition, continues to be further aggravated by the recurrent climatic shocks.
Displacement as a result of climatic shocks and conflict is used as a coping mechanism within Somalia as people crowd into cities and towns in search of humanitarian services. Already displaced populations are highly vulnerable due to social exclusion and lack of connectedness – they are often minority clans, women and children. Most IDP sites are overcrowded and lack basic infrastructure; living conditions are poor and services are overstretched.
As of December 2020, there are more than 4,525 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Somalia with 121 confirmed deaths. In spite of the Federal Government of Somalia’s (FGS) efforts, Somalia has a weak health system and limited capacity to respond and prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 and for early detection and consequently response. In 2020, Somalia has faced the Desert Locust crisis, representing an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in Somalia. Somalia has simultaneously faced heavy rains and floods related to the Gu’ rains from April to May 2020. COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases, poses an additional challenge to already fragile context where it may further hinder access to basic services, leaving the population highly vulnerable.
The protracted nature of Somalia’s crisis complicates the pursuit of long-term recovery and durable solutions, but it also renders it imperative that efforts to ameliorate the challenges begin immediately. Otherwise, Somalia’s IDPs and returnees may face higher obstacles to recovery, as their reserves, assets and social capital are depleted.