Pooled funds provide immediate support for humanitarian response to COVID-19
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and Country Based Pooled Funds (CBPF) released US$95 million and $71 million respectively to respond to the COVID19 global pandemic in 37 countries. The CERF allocated funds to UN agencies at the global level giving them the flexibility in how and where they use the funding, within the parameters of the Humanitarian Response Plan to support national responses to COVID-19. Agencies that have dedicated funds to Somalia for COVID-related responses include WHO ($1 million), UNICEF ($1.145 million) and IOM ($0.45 million); totaling $2.6 million. All projects focus on the eight pillars of WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
The Humanitarian Coordinator has disbursed $2 million from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) reserve to IOM to provide emergency specialist staff and lifesaving mechanical ventilators to Martini hospital in Mogadishu. An additional allocation of $0.17M was made to UNDP to purchase generators for Martini and Banadir hospitals. The SHF, in line with guidance issued by the ERC for CBPFs, has developed flexibility guidelines to support its partners while retaining accountable. The guidelines will enable partners to continue delivering lifesaving response while addressing new humanitarian needs that have arisen due to the pandemic.
Impact of COVID-19 on Livelihoods
Halima* sustains her extended family of 15 in Ceelasha Biyaha, a Mogadishu suburb, on US$300 sent every month by her mother who lives in Sweden. In March, Halima’s mother stopped working due to COVID-19 and has not sent any money for two months. “My husband is unemployed, and my mother was our only source of income,” Halima said. “She does not go to work anymore and has told us to cover our costs by ourselves. We used to get some extra support from her even during special occasions like Eid. “
Roughly half of all Somali households rely on remittances to cover basic needs such as food, water and basic health care. Analysts report that that remittances have dropped by as much as 50 per cent since COVID-19 struck. Like Halima, thousands of Somali families, especially in urban areas, are feeling the impact as their main source of livelihood dries up. “This disease has caused multiple challenges,” she added. “Without money from my mother, I just do not know how we shall survive.” *not real name