The World Bank’s board today approved a $ 137.5 million grant for the International Development Association (IDA) to help Somalia respond and recover from multiple, ongoing and overlapping crises.
With repeated cycles of flooding and drought for many years, swarms of desert grasshoppers threatening food security, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, Somalia is in the grip of a climate – and now public health – acute, aggravated only by two decades of armed conflict, which all affect the lives and livelihoods of the Somali people, 70% of whom are poor.
The Somalia Crisis Response Project (SCRP) will provide immediate support to the areas most severely affected by these crises by supporting the recovery of supply and infrastructure in flood and drought areas, and will also strengthen the government’s disaster response system and capacity.
“More and more devastating crises are hindering Somalia’s ability to break out of a cycle of fragility and poverty. Even as it recovers from drought, Somalia faces a threefold shock of grasshopper, flooding and now COVID-19, ”says World Bank of Somalia director Felipe Jaramillo. “Thanks to the government-led reform of institutions and public finances, Somalia now has access to the IDA, including the Crisis Response Window, and can respond in time.”
The project’s immediate response will benefit up to 1.7 million Somalis – especially the most vulnerable populations, agricultural communities, internally displaced people, rural and urban communities and host communities with a strong focus on households with female heads – affected by grasshoppers and floods. The project will provide basic services and support, including:
- set up cash work for vulnerable households;
- control of the desert’s local population through ground and aerial spraying operations and surveillance;
- restore and protect farmers’ capacities for agricultural production; and
- promote household hygiene and treatment methods.
The project will address water and sanitation systems, broken or non-functioning flood control systems (such as embankments, drainage and irrigation channels), health care facilities, bridges and minor roads to manage flood recovery in the medium term.
In response to the government’s urgent request for additional funding, SCRP also includes a $ 20.5 million investment in COVID responses. Immediate measures for prevention and containment include risk communication, monitoring and contact tracking, along with procurement of medical equipment and supplies. The project will also support national capacity for difficult case management, improved laboratory testing capacity and an integrated disease monitoring and response system. This complements a holistic strategy with several ministries in the government’s prevention and treatment management.
In the future, SCRP will contribute to a more sustainable solution to repeated natural disasters through investments in critical rehabilitation of infrastructure to build better standards and to build the government’s capacity for long-term disaster preparedness and community engagement. The project will ensure women’s inclusion and participation in decision-making bodies, including participation in the development of integrated community preparedness, adaptation and response plans. Investments will be made in integrated flood and drought preparedness and flood risk management, as well as the establishment of a well-equipped national emergency center under the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The project strengthens the leadership of the Somalia Federal Government (FGS) and the federal member states to initiate a sustainable and resilient recovery from the many crises affecting the country as a way to further strengthen citizens’ confidence,” said Dr. Abdirahman Beileh, Finance Minister. “FGS sees this project as an important opportunity to effectively manage a humanitarian-development transition and lay the foundations for the implementation of a long-term investment in the recovery and development of the country.”
The project aims to establish a single, coordinated, flexible and harmonized multi-sectoral strategy and has been designed following an inclusive process with multiple stakeholders and multiple partners.
The World Bank’s recovery grant to Somalia is partly funded through the IDA Crisis Response Window and the contribution of the global COVID-19 facility.