Famine conditions were still present in parts of southern Somalia when the previous humanitarian appeal for Somalia was launched in December 2011. On 3 February, the famine was declared over, largely due to the delivery of aid under extremely difficult conditions and the exceptional harvest at the start of 2012.
Humanitarian actors built on these gains throughout the year, continuing to provide life-saving assistance and implementing programmes to strengthen people’s ability to cope with future drought.
Notwithstanding the gains, 3.8 million people in Somalia are in need of life-saving assistance or other crucial support. An estimated 2.1 million of them are still in crisis, unable to meet their basic needs without assistance. These most vulnerable include an estimated 1.1 million internally displaced people. The remaining 1.7 million people in need have only emerged from crisis in the past year, and could easily fall back into crisis without support to maintain their livelihoods.
Although mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia have improved since last year, they remain among the highest in the world, and an estimated 236,000 children under five are acutely malnourished.
While the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains critical, the gains made in the past year and the changing security and political landscape present opportunities to break the cycle of recurring crises brought on by drought and conflict. To seize on these opportunities, the Humanitarian Country Team is taking an innovative approach to the consolidated appeal process for Somalia.
For the first time, the CAP strategy covers a three-year period. This allows for far greater continuity in programming, which is particularly needed for the resilience-building necessary to address the protracted nature of the crisis.
The four-pronged strategy seeks to:
Ensure equal and integrated life-saving assistance to malnourished children and people living in humanitarian emergency and crisis to reduce mortality and destitution.
Contribute to improving the quality, reliability, responsiveness, and accessibility of basic services, and promote predictable safety-net programming, thereby meeting the humanitarian needs of vulnerable people and households, and strengthening their resilience to shocks.
Invest in household and community resilience through increased access to durable solutions that address livelihood vulnerability, including displacement and climate change – and result in a return to stable and sustainable livelihoods.
Strengthen the capacity and coordination of NGOs, affected communities, and local, regional and national-level authorities to prevent and mitigate risks and implement effective emergency preparedness and response.
The humanitarian community has also agreed on the following two operational objectives to support the four over-arching strategic objectives:
Improve transparency and enhance accountability through mechanisms that ensure quality service delivery, effective support functions, and beneficiary feedback.
Improve alignment with development mechanisms and structures as they evolve.
Given the scope of humanitarian need in Somalia, the funding requirements for the first year of the 2013-2015 CAP are US$1.33 billion, an increase from the 2012 appeal after its mid-year review. The appeal includes 369 project proposals from a cross-section of 177 UN agencies and NGOs. A significant reason for the higher appeal is the improvement in access to people in need that has made greater planned programming possible. As humanitarian organizations scale up their presence throughout Somalia, there are associated increases in staffing, security and travel costs. The CAP includes significant resources for durable returns, as well as a multi-sector project for 10,000 refugees residing in Somalia. The CAP this year also has an increased focus on monitoring programmes in line with the operational objective for enhanced accountability.
The greatest increase in the CAP funding requirement comes from the emphasis on resilience programming in a humanitarian context, which has higher up-front costs than basic life-saving interventions. Resilience, however, is the investment required to help Somalis move from crisis to a more sustainable situation. Investments in basic services, safety nets and resilience programmes in 2013 will target 3.8 million Somalis in need, including those in crisis. The resilience of the targeted population is expected to increase on an incremental basis in 2014-2015, building on the investments of 2013.
Resilience aims to ensure that the next shock does not cause liquidation of assets and displacement, and that the more resilient population will require less aid as people are able to withstand drought and other shocks. At the start of the 2013-2015 CAP, Somalia is still one of the most challenging and dangerous environments in the world for aid workers. However, during the famine response in 2011 and throughout 2012, humanitarian actors proved that they could deliver assistance in areas where access was extremely restricted by working with new partners and finding innovative ways to reach the most vulnerable. With continued generous donor support, they will continue to build on the gains realized in 2012, and improve monitoring of humanitarian action.
At no time in the past 21 years has the opportunity been closer to break the cycle of aid dependence and elevate vulnerable populations out of repeated crises. The harvest at the beginning of 2013, projected to be at least average, should give humanitarian efforts a window of opportunity. Somalis deserve the opportunity to make the transition to development. An investment in the 2013-2015 CAP will help make that possible.