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Study into the Vulnerability and Resilience in Somalia

Budget: upto £75,000

Deadline 12 Jan 2018

Somalia has experienced several periods of famine and regular food crises (mainly in 1991‐1992, 2006, 2008 and 2011). Existing research shows that Somalia’s indicators of humanitarian wellbeing (e.g., prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition) have been markedly poor compared to those in other countries. Many areas of Somalia continued to report extremely high malnutrition figures in mid-2017, and have seen very large levels of population displacement, following famine early warning messages of early 2017. The current humanitarian crisis is taking place only six years after the major famine of 2011, which was declared by the United Nations as the worst in decades. An estimated 3.1 million people (25 percent of the population) are expected to be in crisis or emergency through the end of 2017. 

Somalia (and wider areas of East Africa) has experienced two extremely severe droughts in the last six years, and livelihoods in many areas of the country continue to be undermined by conflict and insecurity and a lack of social services. This raises deep concerns about ongoing vulnerability and the potential for further famine or near famine conditions in the near future. According to recent data from rapid field assessments and household surveys conducted by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), food security outcomes and humanitarian needs are expected to persist or deteriorate in most parts Somalia through the end of 2017. Results of the nutrition surveys conducted by FSNAU indicate deterioration in the nutrition situation among internally displaced persons (IDP) in Baidoa, Hargeisa and Berbera. The nutrition situation is critical (Global Acute Malnutrition-GAM ≥ 15%) in 9 out of 12 IDP settlements. The situation is exacerbated by limited livelihood and coping options and poor living conditions.iv 

While some population groups within Somalia remain part of continuing cycles of vulnerability and decline, many others continue to diversify and transform their livelihoods and future prospects, or at least mitigate the worst impact of these recurrent shocks, particularly where urban, business and diaspora populations are inter-linked within strong social networks (typically extended families and lineage groups). Displacement, mobility and migration continue to describe Somali society, and can also be conceived as part of both long-term and short-term effects and strategies to mitigate risks and seek new opportunities. A recent evidence synthesis on fragility and migration in Somalia found that an estimated 65 per cent of young Somalis consider migration a viable option, given the lack of employment and livelihood opportunities. Further, a World Bank survey showed that about 34 percent of the surveyed adult population (aged>15) had changed their place of living over their lifetime. 

Following the 2011 famine, ‘resilience’ programmes have grown in Somalia, accounting for a considerable amount of resources. This direction, while welcomed, has had a very unclear impact on increasing resilience in target communities, and have generally operated in areas away from the epi-centre of the 2011 famine (for security reasons) and/or has struggled to reach some of the most vulnerable populations in areas such as Dolo and Luuq in Gedo region of South Central Somalia. 

As a result of the early warning messages in the early part of 2017, a large humanitarian response programme has been scaled up and is currently being implemented, a significant proportion of which is in the form of unconditional cash transfers. The full impact of this response has not yet been evaluated, but some commentators suggest a famine has been contained while others point to the extremely high malnutrition figures that continue to be seen

Upto £​75,000 This study aims to explore vulnerability and resilience during shocks, and its relationship to international engagement focused on responding to humanitarian crisis and building resilience in Somalia

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