Somalia is grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis exacerbated by a relentless multi-season drought. Unprecedented in at least 40 years, four consecutive rainy seasons have failed, including the 2022 March-May rainy season, likely to be the driest on record. This prolonged drought, coupled with economic pressures, has led to acute food, water, and nutrition insecurity for more than 7 million Somalis. Around 45% of the population faces severe food shortages due to crop and livestock failures and rising commodity prices. Vulnerable groups, including women, children, and minority clans, have been the hardest hit. Acute malnutrition among children is on the rise, and the crisis forces people to move further, putting over a million at risk since 2021. Decades of conflict, recurrent climatic shocks, and growing poverty have left Somalia in an extremely fragile state, with inadequate access to sanitation and hygiene facilities exacerbating the risk of disease outbreaks, especially in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites and conflict-affected areas. Amid this complex situation, coordinated and shared information management across the humanitarian community is essential to respond more effectively and swiftly to the needs of the people in Somalia.
In addressing Somalia's ongoing humanitarian crisis, iMMAP has actively participated since December 2022 when an IMO supported the protection cluster. In 2023, we deployed seven IMOs through the Stand-by Partnership. Four IMOs bolstered the Health cluster, one seconded the UNHCR protection cluster, one supported UNICEF's nutrition cluster, and another enhanced OCHA coordination. As humanitarian needs persistently rise, we are enhancing our commitment by establishing a dedicated IM unit, ensuring our leadership in effective response. This strategic move has yielded positive outcomes.