RRT Deployment to Somalia: Supporting Local Actors Responding to the Drought
Continued armed violence and the existing volatile and complex security situation make Somalia a hostile environment for children. The drought exacerbates the already precarious situation for children in Somalia. With 6.7 million people being food insecure, existing vulnerabilities of children and families are aggravated. The drought is also uprooting people, with 714,000 displaced since November 2016, adding to the 1.1 million existing internally displaced persons (IDPs). This includes 158,000 newly displaced in Baidoa and 154,000 in Mogadishu since the start of the crisis. Children’s rights and wellbeing are disastrously impacted when families are forced to make difficult decisions about survival.
The CP AoR deployed a Rapid Response Team member (RRT) and loaned an information management expert from the Global Cluster Coordination Unit for a total of 10 weeks: Petra Heusser, RRT Coordination specialist, and Ramy Zaki, Information Management specialist.
The deployees, together with UNICEF and local CPWG leads and co-leads, carried out three 4-day Child Protection in Emergencies and Coordination trainings in Hargeisa, Baidoa and Mogadishu, thereby training 68 local Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) members.
“The workshops held with local participants from all drought-affected Somali regions built on existing knowledge and helped to create a standardized understanding of child protection in emergencies and child protection coordination among the local government and humanitarian actors. The trainings led to increased recognition of the importance of mainstreaming child protection into other clusters, understanding of how the CPMS can to lead to more quality activities, as well as improved skills to engage with communities, other humanitarian actors and child survivors of abuse, neglect, exploitation, violence,” said Petra.
One training participant in Baidoa, a severely drought-affected area, said: “I realized that Child Protection in Emergencies is the business of everyone! With this training, we’ll move forward with a better team work in the Child Protection Working Group.”
*Petra Heusser is a child protection coordination expert, seconded by SDC to the Child Protection AoR Rapid Response Team for the third year, and Ramy Zaki is an information management expert with the Global Cluster Coordination Unit at UNICEF.