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Drought, Displacement and Livelihoods in Somalia/Somaliland: Time for gender-sensitive and protection-focused approaches

June 22, 2018

Thousands of Somali families were displaced to urban centres by the 2017 drought. Research by a group of NGOs indicates that they do not intend to return home anytime soon. It also shows how precarious and limited are the livelihood opportunities for displaced people in Somalia; how far people's options are affected by gender; and how changing gender dynamics present further protection threats to both men and women. Comparing the findings for Somaliland with those for the rest of the country, the research underscores the importance of local dynamics for people's opportunities and protection. Gaps were highlighted in the provision of basic services for women particularly.Local, state and federal authorities, donors, and humanitarian and development actors need to improve displaced people's immediate access to safe, gender-sensitive basic services - and to develop plans for more durable solutions to displacement. As floods in April to June 2018 have forced more people to leave their homes, an immediate step up in the response is essential.

Transitioning to a Government-Run Refugee and Migrant Response in Greece: A joint NGO roadmap for more fair and humane policies

December 12, 2017

Two years on from the peak of the "refugee crisis" in Greece, the Greek state is beginning to take over management and financing of aspects of the reception and integration system, and many international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that came to assist with the then-humanitarian emergency are downsizing or preparing to exit the country entirely. At this turning point, the 13 undersigned NGOs believe it is critical to reflect on our field experiences, build on the progress collectively made, and provide recommendations for a smooth transition and a sustainable Greek Government-managed refugee and migrant reception and integration system.The transition to a government-run response is a positive step if implemented transparently, promptly, and in close collaboration with local governments, as well as the organisations currently providing services, soon to fall under the responsibility of the Greek Government. It is under this current state of affairs, and with the goal of preventing regression, that we write this report.

Balancing the Books: Including women and protecting refugees is essential to realizing small business growth in Jordan

December 7, 2017

It is essential that opportunities for job growth are supported both for refugees in Jordan and the vulnerable communities hosting them. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) can be a key driver of job growth. Promoting MSMEs could also help to address gender inequality and protection issues for refugees in Jordan. This joint agency paper was written by the LEADERS Consortium of NGOs, which aims to contribute to the economic self-reliance, resilience and stability of Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities in Jordan. It presents research conducted among women and men small business owners in central and northern Jordan on the challenges they face. It makes recommendations on how the Government of Jordan, businesses, the financial sector and NGOs can support women, refugees and Jordanian host communities to start and grow small businesses. 

More than Six Months Stranded - What Now? A Joint Policy Brief on the Situation for Displaced Persons in Greece

April 3, 2017

This briefing paper is the result of a joint effort by 12 national and international organizations operating in Greece. The aim is to explain the current situation for those stranded in Greece for over six months since the closure of the northern border and introduction of the European Union (EU) - Turkey deal.These events changed Greece from a transit country to a country hosting tens of thousands of displaced persons for a still undefined, yet long-term, period. The briefing and recommendations presented are based on programmatic assessments as well as daily work and interaction with the displaced throughout Greece. Our hope is that this briefing and our joint recommendations will be of use to all actors engaged in addressing the situation and improving the response for those in need of protection in Greece.

Stand and Deliver: Urgent action needed on commitments made at the London Conference one year on

January 23, 2017

On 4 February 2016, the international community agreed on a 'comprehensive new approach' to address the protracted Syria crisis at the "Supporting Syria and the Region" Conference in London. Donors, and neighboring countries, which host the vast majority of those who have fled Syria, committed to significant financial pledges and policy changes to improve the lives of refugees and host communities. Important steps have been taken to improve the provision of education and livelihoods in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Donors have performed well in terms of aid disbursed and committed for the current financial year, and some host governments have made significant policy changes. Much more remains unaccomplished, however.Nearly one year on from the London Conference, this report sets out what needs to be done to ensure that people's lives are positively and measurably impacted by the funding disbursed so far. It calls on governments and donors to share responsibility with Syria's neighbors for refugees, and it urges governments to assure the legal status of Syrian refugees so they can access education and work.

From Words to Action: Reviewing the commitments made at the 'Supporting Syria and the Region' Conference six months on

September 7, 2016

The 'Supporting Syria and the Region' conference held in London on 4 February 2016 agreed 'a comprehensive new approach on how to respond to this protracted crisis. The promises made in London have the potential to make a significant contribution to improving the lives of both refugee and vulnerable host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey: the three countries hosting approximately 75 percent of refugees from Syria. However, the conference has failed to deliver with regard to the core issues of the protection of civilians inside Syria and of refugees in neighbouring countries.This joint agency report sets out what needs to be done to make the London commitments a reality - including making pledged funding available, clear plans for improving access to livelihoods for refugees  and regulatory changes in host countries.

Right to a Future: Empowering refugees from Syria and host governments to face a long-term crisis

November 6, 2015

With no end to the conflict in Syria in sight, the four million people forced to flee the country have no foreseeable prospect of safe return. And as the impact of the crisis on neighbouring countries grows and aid dries up, the situation for these refugees is becoming increasingly dire.This briefing calls for a new approach by the international community, including Syria's neighbours; one which offers hope, safety and dignity to the millions of refugees, and gives them a chance to contribute to the societies and economies of their hosts.

Risk of Relapse: Somalia crisis update

May 12, 2014

With a third of Somalia's population in need of humanitarian aid, the country is clearly in severe crisis. Although the humanitarian statistics are better than in previous years, most aspects of everyday life for people fall far below acceptable living standards.2.9 million Somalis are in humanitarian crisis50,000 children are severely malnourishedWomen in Somalia face the second highest risk of maternal death in the world1.1 million people are displaced within their own countryOnly 30% of the population has access to clean drinking waterFewer 1 in 4 people have access to adequate sanitationSomalia presents a unique and challenging context where destabilizing factors like conflict and cyclical drought are a regular feature. While gains have been made, communities remain only one shock away from disaster. As we learned in 2011, failure to heed the warning signs of crisis in already fragile communities can lead to tragedy.The international community is in a position now to make a difference in Somalia - as long as funds are available and flexible. Action is urgently needed to address Somalia's humanitarian and development needs.

Feasibility Study: Social Protection in South Central Somalia

March 1, 2014

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition by policy makers and the international development community that longer-term social protection programming has the potential to reduce poverty and inequality and serve as a foundation upon which, viable livelihoods can be built. In many countries, specially those that are frequently affected by climatic and conflict hazards, this has led to calls for a shift in approach away from interventions thatsimply address the symptoms of household vulnerability towards those which deal with the causes. For more than two decades Somalia has lurched from one humanitarian crisis to another. This debate around the potential of social protection is therefore particularly acute, as years of humanitarian programming seem to have had little impact on increasing household resilience to shocks. Furthermore, the country still ranks 165 out of the 170 countries included in the UN's Human Development Index, and number one on the US Fund for Peace 'Failed State Index'.A consortium of agencies working in Somalia commissioned this study: Adeso, ACF, DRC and Save the Children. The study is intended to further the discussion on the rationale and practicalities of social protection in South Central Somalia, and to serve as a starting point for the debate around moving away from short-term responses towards longer-term social protection interventions by these agencies, and others.The report comprises six parts: Part 1 describes the political economy in South Central Somalia and highlights some key challengesfor humanitarian actors; Part 2 defines the general concept of social protection and looks at the global evidence of the impact of social protection; Part 3 looks at social protection programs in African countries (particularly those in the Somalia region), and also in fragile states; Part 4 looks at current social protection mechanisms in South Central Somalia; Part 5 describes the actions that are currently needed before humanitarian programming can become predictable, and Part 6 summarizes the way forward, including recommendations and the conclusions from the study.