Somaliland: Somalia Update 4 – Overview of COVID-19 directives

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Somalilandsun: This note summarises the directives promulgated (either written or verbal) by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Federal Member States (FMS) aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19; and identifies the impact of the restrictions on the general population and humanitarian operations for the period 1-15 May 2020. (See interactive map on https://covid19som-ochasom.hub.arcgis.com/)

Background

The FGS and the FMS continue to take necessary measures to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19 in Somalia. Since 16 March 2020, a total of 51 COVID-19 related directives/statements have been issued, either in writing or verbally.

As of 15 May 2020, 48 out of the 51 directives are in place while three have been rescinded . This includes the revocation of the 23 April 2020 directive on suspension on the import of Khat into Somaliland on 16 May 2020. Twenty-six of the 47 directives relate to social distancing, closure of academic institutions and restriction of population movement. Five impose suspensions on international, domestic passenger flights and restrict land transportation while seven relate to border closure. Six directives impose night curfews, two direct tax exemption on basic food items and two relate to registration of burial activities and deceased persons.

Impact

General across all states

  • WFP reported that prices of food commodities sourced from neighbouring countries, such as pasta and sugar, remain high as stocks continue to diminish. Borders with Ethiopia and Kenya have remained closed to people for 50 days so far due to COVID-19, but open to goods.
  • The reduction in business activities and closure of markets, hotels and restaurants continues to impact daily-wage workers, casual labourers and low-income people.
  • Humanitarian partners reported a reduction in field activities and adaptation of humanitarian interventions in order to respect movement restrictions. Humanitarian partners have also reported limitations in monitoring service delivery at field level due to COVID-19 protocols and reduction of activities to essential services.
  • The majority of UN and NGO international staff are in alternate working arrangements outside the country, while national staff from the UN and partners are working in a restrictive environment, thus reducing the humanitarian footprint.
  • The Education Cluster estimates that 1 million school children are out of the physical classroom due to closure of schools. However, some states have reported alternative learning through different means such as radio, TV and internet.
  • The directives for social distancing and limited public gatherings have created tension in the community and stigmatisation of COVID-19 patients. Most people prefer not to go for testing and/or to isolation centres due to fear of stigmatisation.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.

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