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Coronavirus: UNHCR Somalia – Operational Update

Widespread insecurity, political fragility and humanitarian emergencies defined July. While testing for COVID-19 remains limited, Somalia’s confirmed cases since the onset of the pandemic surpassed 3,000, among which more than 90 were fatal. Dessert locusts continued to consume thousands of hectares of crops in Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug, and since the onset of the seasonal rains in April, more than 500,000 people were displaced by emergency rains and floods.

Around 2.8 million persons of concern, particularly 2.6 million IDPs remain among the most vulnerable, many of whom have not recovered or restored their livelihood from the 2019 Deyr floods. UNHCR’s persons of concern have appealed for enhanced cashbased support given the rise in commodity prices, including food and due to loss of wages as casual workers.

Devastating consequences of floods, possible outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in IDP settlements, and infestation of desert locusts further deteriorates the living conditions of persons of concern and causes risk of new internal displacements. In July alone, the UNHCR-led Protection Return Monitoring Network recorded a staggering 158,000 new displacements in Somalia.

Update on Achievements

Against a backdrop of ongoing insecurity, climate-related emergencies and COVID-19, UNHCR observed 158,000 new displacements in the month of July. This significant government change has not materially impacted UNHCR’s persons of concern during the reporting period. As at the end of the month, UNHCR, including through its lead role in the Protection and Shelter Clusters and as co-lead to the CCCM Cluster, has continued to provide protection, assistance and durable solutions to refugees/asylum seekers, refugee returnees, internally displacement persons and mixed migrants, as indicated below. This assistance includes cash and in-kind support to persons with specific needs, psychosocial support, legal assistance, and more as outlined below.

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