Political relations in the region are experiencing dynamic change, with new opportunities for Somalia to benefit from trade and regional integration as it prepares to become the eighth member of the East African Community. As Somalia moves out of fragility, it needs to gradually transition from relying on humanitarian aid to sustainable development approaches.

Throughout 2022, and for five consecutive seasons, poor rains put the country in severe drought conditions surpassing the 2010–2011 and 2016–2017 droughts in terms of duration, severity, and scale. The number of people suffering from food insecurity and needing humanitarian assistance grew to 8.3 million people in the country (over 50%) and displaced over 2 million people from their homes in search of water, food, and pasture.

What are the development challenges in Somalia?

As Somalia continues to rebuild economic governance institutions, it has several opportunities—rapid urbanization, the growing use of digital technologies, planned investments in energy, ports, education, and health—so building resilience to shocks is a priority to support economic growth and job creation. However, severe drought, rising food prices, falling exports, and slowing growth in remittances are preventing the economy from sustaining a modest rebound.

Source: World Bank, 2023 (checked on Feb, 2024)

How does Alliance2015 help?

Cash is revolutionising the way that humanitarian aid is being delivered. Somalia is a prime example of this, where in coordination with donors such as European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) and Irish Aid, Concern, together with Acted, is finding innovative ways to ensure that those most in need are reached while empowering them along the way.

Coordinated Implementation of Multipurpose Cash Assistance to Support Somali Households Affected by Crisis

Since the devastating famine in 2011, cash transfers have been used in Somalia to meet the immediate needs of communities while building their resilience to future shocks. This is based on a sound understanding of what communities affected by crises – such as conflict, drought and displacement – really need, and what works best to respond to those needs.

Between 2016 and 2017, Somalia experienced four consecutive below average or failed rainy seasons, and was on the brink of famine again in 2017. These dire circumstances provided another opportunity for cash to show just how effective it can be in saving lives and alleviating suffering. 

The consortium and its partners were able to respond quickly to several sudden-onset crises during 2018 including a cyclone in the north of the country and severe flooding in the south. By providing further assistance to already registered families, Concern was able to provide cash assistance in advance of more traditional assistance.

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