UN Migration, OFDA Support Drought-Displaced Populations in Somalia

Mogadishu – The Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is supporting IOM, the UN Migration Agency to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to drought-affected displaced populations in Somalia’s South Central, Somaliland and Puntland regions.

Somalia continues to face drought conditions spanning the last four consecutive poor rainy seasons, severely aggravating the humanitarian crisis. The most recent Deyr rains (October – December 2017) started late and resulted in approximately 50 per cent below average rainfall in most parts of the country. While this was slightly better than in 2016, crop production is expected to be limited.

In close coordination with the humanitarian community and under the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia and the regional governments, IOM is providing integrated lifesaving health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) services to vulnerable drought affected populations.

Kelsi Kriitmaa, Senior Health Technical Advisor for IOM Somalia stated: “Despite the massive increase in humanitarian response in 2017, the prolonged drought is aggravating the crisis and needs continual investment and attention, to maintain the gains made in 2017 to avert famine. Urgent and more sustainable mid- to-long term investment in reducing risk and vulnerability is required.”

IOM started emergency primary health care services at the Bardhere Hospital outpatient department on 1 November 2017. With support from OFDA, IOM has been able to support the outpatient department which had been non-functional for years. Currently, an average day sees 150 patients seeking medical assistance at the hospital. IOM is now also offering emergency primary healthcare services in Sanag on both the Somaliland and Puntland sides of the border, a notoriously underserved area, despite high instances of conflict and displacement.

With support from OFDA, IOM is also implementing CCCM activities in IDP sites in South Central Somalia, including Baidoa, Dollow and Kismayo. The aim of the project is to provide coordination of humanitarian service provision within IDP settlements and act as interlocutor between government, communities and service providers.

IOM activities focus on providing cluster coordination at the national and subnational level, as well as site level management, communication with communities, and site improvement with the aim of improving living conditions and service delivery to displaced populations in sites. IOM is also supporting the provision of emergency sustainable clean and safe water, coupled with hygiene sanitation promotion activities to encourage community behaviour change.

The one-year OFDA-funded project is being implemented with support from the Federal Government of Somalia and regional governments, in particular, regional drought response coordinators, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, line ministries, and the Federal and State Ministries of Health and Water.

For more information, please contact IOM Somalia Programme Support Unit, Tel: +251 715 990600, Email: iomsomalia@iom.int

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