Climate and
Disaster Resilience

How UNDP is responding to climate shocks

Somalia is experiencing a number of recurrent climate related shocks that are impacting livelihoods and which together with ongoing conflict, are leading to food insecurity, mass displacement, and crisis.

In 2019, delayed and erratic Gu’ rains have followed a poor 2018 Deyr season (Oct-Dec) and abnormally dry conditions during the Jilaal season (Jan-Mar). This has caused widespread crop failure and a decline in livestock productivity, rapidly pushing communities in the worst-affected areas into a food insecurity Crisis (IPC 3), or worse.  The erratic and insufficient rainy seasons are also coming directly after a prolonged drought in 2016-2017, which had already devastated livelihoods. 

Due to gains and investments made in peace, development, and security, and scaled up response by the Somali government and humanitarian and development agencies, famine was averted during the 2016-2017 drought period. Continued scaled up efforts by aid and development agencies have also helped move more than two million people out of humanitarian need, setting the country on the path for strengthened resilience programming.

But as the climate warms, such climatic shocks are becoming more frequent, and there is not enough time to recover between each event. The late seasonal rains are not uniform enough to allow crops to grow and communities to recover.  In addition, some late rains have caused flash flooding in some areas, causing destruction and endangering lives.

Such events, combined with ongoing conflict, and protracted displacement, mean that Somalia is again facing a major humanitarian emergency, with 5.4 million people in need of assistance and 2.2 million people facing crisis levels of food security.

UNDP is suporting UN and government partners to urgently deliver relief in time to reach the hardest hit areas and vulnerable communities. But at the same time, we are also working to halt such recurrent cycles of humanitarian need in Somalia, by investing in the infrastructure and institutions needed to respond to crisis across the country.

Every one dollar invested in peace, development and security can mean saving three dollars in humanitarian relief in the future. By continuing to invest in governance, rule of law, security, water infrastructure, and environmental protection,  we can protect communities from loss of homes and livelihoods and increase vital peace and stability gains across the country. 

UNDP Response to Crisis

UNDP is supporting government and UN partners to respond and bring relief to the most affected communities, in line with the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, and a targeted Drought Impact Response Plan (DIRP) that calls for USD 710.5 million across clusters, to scale up immediate response.

At the same time, in parallel, we are delivering long term, preventative solutions that build government and community capacity to respond to climatic shocks. We are also working to prevent displacement, by delivering targeted assistance in home locations of communities.

Our work is aligned to the Government of Somalia’s National Development Plan, and to the recovery priorities as laid out in the Government's 2018 Recovery and Resilience Framework, developed with the support of UNDP and UN partners, the European Union and the World Bank, which aims to build resilience to climatic shocks such as drought and flooding across Somalia. 

In hardest hit areas we are:

  • Working with UN-OCHA to support government partners to coordinate and manage data on relief distribution in different areas;
  •  Strengthening capacities of local government to monitor relief and deliver water, food and livestock fodder to the most vulnerable communities;
  • Providing cash grants to vulnerable communities and households
  • Working with communities to construct and rehabilitate water infrastructure through cash for work programmes, for sustainable water access that prevents scarcity. Such cash for work programmes will support communities to rebuild lost assets in their home locations;
  • Providing innovative funding and financing support to UN and Government partners to take proposed interventions to scale and close funding gaps;
  • Establish systems in national institutions to support disaster risk reduction and effective response in the event of future shocks.


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