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Situation Report # 10 - 14 March, 2008

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – SOMALIA

Situation Report # 10 – 14 March, 2008

Main Developments

Focus on Drought affected regions

An alert issued this week by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network in collaboration with FAO Food Security Analysis Unit says another poor Gu season would further aggravate the already precarious food security situation in much of Somalia.  Further, the number of people (currently between 1.5 and 1.8 million) in need of humanitarian assistance from April to the end of 2008 is likely to increase.  The upcoming Gu rains, the alert reiterates, are crucial for the replenishment of water sources, regeneration of pasture, and production of crops that are harvested in August in central and southern regions, where previous rainy seasons were below normal in many areas.


In response to the ongoing drought and IDP crisis in central regions and other parts of the country, the Humanitarian Response Fund managed by OCHA is processing a number of emergency projects targeting affected regions.  A six-month Emergency Health Care project run by Non-Governmental Organisation Merlin to provide emergency healthcare to about 80,000 people in Ceel Buur (Galgaduud) is underway.  The project involves strengthening the local referral system, health response capacity and nutrition screening by reviving the hospital that has not been functional due to lack of resources. In Luuq (Gedo), CARE International started a food aid distribution of 1,497 metric tons to 51, 264 beneficiaries (8,544 households). 


In Mogadishu’s Daynile district, Danish Refugee Council distributed blankets to 3,000 IDP households. 


The Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator a.i, William Paton, on a mission to Mogadishu said that the United Nations wants to do more in Somalia.  During a meeting with the Prime Minister and other government officials, discussions focused on how to improve access across the country and addressed security concerns as well as development needs. Insecurity continues to hamper access to people in need for the UN and other organisations in both urban and rural areas.  The continued fighting in Mogadishu for instance has rendered citizens immobile and largely unable to access basic social services including hospitals and schools. The HC/RC a.i was optimistic that the leaders were committed to addressing insecurity issues.


Confrontations between Ethiopian/Transitional Federal Government and anti-government elements continued during the week at a relatively lower scale.  On 11 March, a roadside bomb targeting a truck transporting soldiers killed a pregnant woman and wounded four other people, including her two children.  Exchange of fire at the Bakara market continued as government troops conducted massive search operations for weapons and anti-government elements in the area.  Belet Weyne (Hiran) was briefly seized by groups opposed to the government; at least five government soldiers were killed. 


Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/Cholera update

By the beginning of the reporting week (8 March), at least six deaths and 234 cases of AWD were reported in Hiran district.  NGOs and the UN are working and planning to control the outbreak.  Save the Children (UK) is conducting health education through four local NGOs and disseminating Cholera control and sanitation messages.  The local NGO HICDO is conducting garbage collection campaigns in the town as well as educating people on importance of hygiene in relation to AWD. 

For Further Information, contact: Rita Maingi on +254 734 800 120 – [email protected]


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