The Federal Government of Somalia and aid agencies operating in the country have today launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and called on donors to provide sufficient and early funding to sustain aid operations in Somalia in 2019.
The response plan seeks $1.08 billion to provide life-saving assistance and livelihood support to 3.4 million Somalis affected by conflict, climatic shocks and displacement across the country.
The improvements in the food security situation due to good 2018 Gu rains, the sustained humanitarian response throughout 2018 and a more focused definition of needs have resulted in a 32 per cent decline in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance, from 6.2 million in 2018 down to 4.2 million in 2019.
However, continued conflict and climatic shocks threaten to reverse these gains. In addition, humanitarian needs remain above the pre-crisis level from two years ago. Over 1.5 million people, mainly IDPs and rural populations, face acute levels of food insecurity (IPC 3 and above) and require immediate assistance for their survival. Malnutrition rates across the country have remained persistently high. Over 2.6 million people are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and live in difficult circumstances, are highly vulnerable and in need of multiple basic services and protection.
"Unless aid agencies can sustain the aid operation or immediately scale it up in some worst drought-hit areas early in the year, the progress made thus far is under severe threat, as Somalia remains in the grip of one of the most complex and long-standing crises in the world. Climatic shocks such as the recent poor rains coupled with the cumulative effects of years of the ongoing conflict and the resultant displacements continue to cause suffering and destroy people's livelihoods," said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
"I urge the international community to continue providing early and sufficient humanitarian funding. Alongside life-saving support, a substantial investment in resilience-building and development solutions will be critical to ultimately end need and allow people to fend for themselves with dignity."
The Federal Government of Somalia applauded aid agencies for prioritizing saving lives and ending need through community resilience-building.
"This year's response plan clearly articulates the government's position that humanitarian needs in Somalia cannot be addressed by the delivery of life-saving assistance alone and it recognises that there are opportunities for development actors to contribute to strengthened resilience of Somalis," said Mr. Hamza Said Hamza, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
"I call on donors to also prioritise programmes that tackle structural and chronic development challenges in Somalia. We are committed to work with all partners to move ahead with implementing durable solutions through the Resilience and Recovery Framework for Somalia, while the humanitarian response plan focuses on the immediate needs of the most vulnerable - IDPs, host communities, returnees to Somalia and refugees from neighbouring countries."
Despite operational challenges, insecurity and access restraints, aid agencies reached an average of three million people every month with life-saving assistance in 2018. The 2019 HRP targets 3.4 million people, or 81 per cent of the 4.2 million people in need of assistance; and the HRP financial requirements were reduced from $1.5 billion in 2018 to $1.08 billion this year, also in light of increasing engagement of resilience and development actors.
Guided by the Humanitarian Country Team's Centrality of Protection Strategy for 2018-2019, the humanitarian operations will focus on four core strategic objectives: providing life-saving assistance, nutrition, protection and resilience support to the most vulnerable.