Ever since the new internationally-backed government was installed in 2012, Somalia has been inching towards stability. However, the country still faces challenges from Al-Qaedaaligned Al-Shabaab insurgents who continue to launch deadly guerrilla attacks against the Somali government and African Union peacekeeping mission.
To date, Somalia’s humanitarian situation continues to be of serious concern. An estimated 5 million people (40% of the population) are currently in need of life-saving and livelihood assistance. Almost 1.1 million people are internally displaced and another 1 million are living as refugees in neighboring countries.
In 2016, VSF Germany implemented three projects in Somalia: Securing livelihoods of agro pastoralists through setting up and strengthening of livestock sector value chains, promoting infrastructure and generating income. The project is currently being implemented in three districts in Somaliland: Salaxlay, Cadaadlay and Dacarbudhuq. The project aims at developing the human capacity in the dairy and meat sectors through skills development, organisational capacities, and strengthening of linkages between producers and consumers.
The Access to Food project funded by UNOCHA through the Common Humanitarian Funds (CHF) in Galkayo district provided emergency food assistance to vulnerable households of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and urban poor (host community), majority of whom were women and children.
VSF Germany is also currently implementing an Emergency Response activity dubbed ‘’Food Security and Rapid Response in Gedo” funded by the Foreign Office. The project seeks to address the current food insecurity in south central Somalia through provision of food coupons, cash for work and improvement of livelihood through activities within the animal sector and the fishery sector in Dollow and Luuq.
VSFG partnered with UN-OCHA on the ‘Somalia Humanitarian Pooled Fund Mechanism’ to implement the Access to Food Project (AFP) in Galkayo town and surrounding IDP camps of Mudug region in Puntland.
The unconditional cash transfer (UCT) improved beneficiaries’ access to many food and non-food items and the protection and economic empowerment of women in the IDP camps. UCT has rapidly become an important and widely preferred assistance mechanism for humanitarian organizations working in Somalia, as the approach allows beneficiaries to govern´their own spending, prioritize their family needs, become less dependent and hence preserve their dignity.
This approach is also effective in reducing the implementation and operational costs and provides more cash in hand to beneficiaries and improves transparency. UCT can provide more comprehensive feedback on people’s needs, vulnerabilities, and coping strategies in addition to the humanitarian impact on local contexts and communities.
Through BMZ funding, VSFG is currently also implementing a livelihood project in Maroodijeex region, in Somaliland. This three-year project started in June 2016 and ends in April 2019. The project aims at improving livelihoods of agro-pastoralists through setting up and strengthening of livestock sector value chains, promoting infrastructure and generating income.