Situated in a complex region of the world, Puntland State in Somalia is coping with existing threats and instabilities, such as droughts, floods, locusts, the movement of internally displaced people (IDPs), and armed actors. The COVID-19 pandemic has added yet another strain on its tremendously fragile infrastructure. The impact of the coronavirus has been far reaching, affecting livelihoods, with employment such as construction halted due to pandemic restrictions, fostering fluctuations around household assets, and hampering unpaid and underpaid care work and responsibilities. With climatic shocks and infestations, Puntland State in Somalia residents are experiencing decimated livelihoods, livestock and land, limited movement, increased violence and limited access to opportunities and support services. The multitude of crises and rates of inflation have left the majority of families food insecure and without income, halted education and health services, and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and the incidence of violence. Needs far exceed the current available resources and capacity.
However, response efforts are under way, with many organizations and institutions adding to existing programming. Organizations such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have established mechanisms such as village savings and loans associations and unconditional cash transfers to help prepare for and alleviate financial shocks, while the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provides vocational training and training for women’s empowerment, gender-based violence (GBV) services, and women and girls’ safe spaces. The ASAL1 organization works on advocacy and lobbying efforts, socioeconomic support and building awareness campaigns. KAALO Aid and Development, a local organization involved in humanitarian and development action in the area, has been working with female-headed households, through cash and in-kind support, on continued awareness of GBV prevention and response and recognizing the importance of engaging boys and men, and religious and cultural leaders as a transformative approach in reaching inclusive and gender-sensitive humanitarian programming. From the government side, the Puntland State in Somalia Humanitarian and Disaster Management Agency (HADMA) provides support to the disaster and crisis humanitarian response.
To better help local government bodies, agencies, NGOs and INGOs grasp the differentiated impact on women, men, boys and girls, and host and IDP communities during this time of intense loss and instability, this gender analysis was conducted and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) in partnership with Oxfam in Somalia and KAALO. The analysis provides an overview of the intricacies of the communities, with recommendations for addressing immediate concerns and future programming. It was conducted across 11 villages (in three districts – Bosaaso, Gardo and Garowe), through 34 focus group discussions (FGDs) with women, men, boys, and girls; 18 key informant interviews (KIIs) from the community (of which seven were with women); and nine KIIs with organizations and municipal government officials (of which two were with women).