➤ Number in need of food/humanitarian aid: 4.1 million
➤ Malnourished children: 1 million
➤ Internally displaced people: 2.6 million
➤ Number of refugees: nearly 1 million (as of June, 2020)
The floods, along with COVID-19 and desert locusts, have significantly changed the humanitarian context in Somalia. Since April, the triple threat has compounded pre-existing vulnerabilities, escalating humanitarian needs and hurting livelihoods – especially for low- income earners and poor families. As a result, at least 3.5 million people are projected to fall into Crisis or Emergency food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or higher) from June to September, with 1 million children projected to be malnourished. Some 2.6 million people remain displaced and nearly 1 million children out of class due to the COVID -19-related closure of schools.
Somalia’s volatile security context combined with poor infrastructure continues to create a challenging operational environment for humanitarian partners and hampers their ability to conduct assessments and deliver aid. The first half of 2020 has seen an upsurge in access constraints with 141 reported incidents up to July, compared to 151 in the whole of 2019. Violence against humanitarian workers has led to 11 being killed, 11 wounded and 23 kidnapped, with seven of them being kidnapped and subsequently murdered in a single incident.
The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock has agreed to allocate up to $140 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support a series of anticipatory-action interventions over the next 18 months, starting with $15 million in Somalia. This pilot aims to combat the projected increase in humanitarian needs due to food insecurity caused by locust infestation, flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a targeted response through five key clusters and interventions.
The economic impacts of COVID-19, an erratic gu rainfall season, and the desert locust upsurge are driving an increase in the food insecure population and the severity of food insecurity in Somalia. In June, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist across the country. A significant scale-up of humanitarian food assistance in May reached 2.2 million people, reducing food consumption gaps at the household level and preventing worse area-level outcomes in parts of northern Somalia.