In Somalia, regular and sustained access to the country's worst-hit regions due to insecurity, deterioration of road conditions, and an overall lack of public infrastructure, is a challenge. Moreover, the 2022 Gu rainy season in Somalia came to an early end in May 2022, leaving the country with depressed rainfall amounts and unprecedented levels of drought-affected displaced populations. Based on drought-driven needs, the Logistics Cluster is actively engaged in initiatives to facilitate, coordinate, and share information for common logistics services on behalf of the entire humanitarian community, ensuring that life-saving and critical supplies can make it to affected populations in some of the most remote parts of the country.
Access to common logistics services:
Thus far in 2022, the Logistics Cluster has facilitated the delivery of approximately 1,500 mt of humanitarian cargo through road and air to 28 locations on behalf of 17 partner organizations. In addition, since September 2022, the Logistics Cluster has facilitated access for the humanitarian community through a WFP helicopter to deliver life-saving supplies to areas not accessible by fixed wing aircraft, such as Mahas, Jalalaqsi and Qansaxdhere.
National and subnational coordination initiatives:
To ensure effective sharing of ever-changing information and to maintain important channels of communication and open dialogue, the Logistics Cluster facilitates bi-weekly national Logistics Cluster meetings with its partners. The Logistics Cluster has also launched sub-national coordination meetings in multiple drought-affected areas to identify and map the logistical needs of the humanitarian community, such as in the Bay and Bakool regions (two of the most drought-affected areas in Somalia).
According to Ahmed Khalif, Somalia Country Director for Action Against Hunger (AAH), “AAH has immensely benefitted from the Logistics Cluster’s services through the receipt of information and indications on the provision of last-mile delivery of humanitarian supplies in hard-to-reach locations. The Logistics Cluster has also provided support in terms of [facilitating access to] airlifts of critical lifesaving supplies where commercial service providers were not able to support, including nutrition products and medicines in different districts in the Bay and Bakool regions”.
Information management and technical working groups:
Last but not least, the Logistics Cluster produces information products related to warehousing, physical constraints, fuel availability and other logistical challenges in Somalia. Moreover, In October 2022, the Technical Working Group on Customs Clearance Procedures was established to address border clearance delays for humanitarian cargo. The Logistics Cluster, in collaboration with OCHA, is advocating for the permanent opening of border crossings between Kenya and Somalia to facilitate the movement of cross-border cargo by road on behalf of its partner organisations.
According to Anne-Kathrin Landherr, Logistics Cluster Information Management Officer in Somalia, “As we face a rapidly accelerating humanitarian crisis in Somalia brought on by four consecutive failed rains and potentially an upcoming fifth, it’s more important than ever that we work as a united humanitarian community to reach people across the country with the assistance they need. That’s why the Logistics Cluster continues to be so important – it allows us to work together and coordinate our response so that despite our differing mandates and focus areas, we all can achieve our goals which is to help those who need it most.”