Funded by

French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE)

Various studies on the security of humanitarian actors rank Somalia among the most dangerous operational contexts in the world, along with Afghanistan, Darfur and, more recently, Chad. At the same time, it is one of the contexts in which humanitarian needs are highest. To better understand the operational challenges that humanitarian actors and donors face in this context, Groupe URD was commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Crisis Centre (CDC) to conduct a study. It also provides food for thought regarding humanitarian action in highly insecure situations in general.

The study included a review of recent literature on Somalia to establish a detailed assessment of the situation. A series of visits to the Horn of Africa were also carried out to meet organisations working in and around Somalia (Ethiopian Ogaden, and regions in Kenya bordering Somalia). Meetings were held with United Nations agencies involved in Somalia and neighbouring countries (OCHA, WFP, FAO, UNICEF), some humanitarian agencies (ICRC, NGOs, a collective of NGOs working in Somalia), donors (DG ECHO, DFID, USAID, Norway, France) and representatives of the countries concerned (Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia).

Content of the study:

  • The Somali context and its key characteristics;
  • Humanitarian action in Somalia and some of the major challenges in terms of access and assessing the situation and needs.
  • Sensors that allow the situation in Somalia to be monitored and risk to be analysed;
  • The approaches adopted by humanitarian actors to work in this turbulent and dangerous context.