The Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) is delighted to welcome the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) as its newest Partner. SODMA has joined REAP's global membership on behalf of the Somali Government to engage in a community that is committed to scaling up anticipatory approaches to disaster management, and to raise further awareness of the multiple intersecting hazards that are affecting the world’s most climate vulnerable countries.
Somalia has been experiencing multiple crises for years now. Through concerted and joined-up action across government ministries, the country recently postponed an approaching famine, and is at this moment afflicted by heavy seasonal rains that have caused extensive flooding across the country. Almost half a million people have been affected, over 200,000 of them displaced from their homes, and more than 20 killed by floodwaters.
Somalia is committed to pursuing scientific and technical approaches to proactive disaster management, but more financial assistance is needed from the international community to enable this at scale. SODMA is developing, with the support of the UN World Food Programme, an anticipatory action plan for floods, but additional capacity and funding is needed to ensure that when this plan is activated in future, the reality – the anticipatory interventions that can be carried out – matches the ambition of protecting Somali citizens. Somalia is calling for stronger scientific and financial support from the international community on this, and other, anticipatory initiatives.
As the Somali Government’s lead agency for emergency planning and response, including the establishment and operation of early warning systems, SODMA is in a position to both contribute to and benefit from REAP’s network of early action stakeholders by sharing experiences of what works and what doesn’t when climate hazards overlap – including lessons for the international community on what support must be provided at both state and federal levels to enable effective response. The experience of SODMA in dealing with the barriers and enabling factors that exist at the national level to help scale up anticipatory approaches will be invaluable in helping to refine approaches.
At a national level, SODMA works closely with the Federal Ministry of Planning, Investment & Economic Development (MoPIED), which holds the mandate for overseeing development activity in the country. Through this linkage SODMA will be able to mainstream early action across sectors in Somalia, taking it beyond humanitarian and DRR planning and budgets to incorporate the much-needed support of the development community. To consistently drive forward this effort at achieving comprehensive risk management approaches across ministries, SODMA has appointed a senior advisor on early and anticipatory action, and aims to complement this with additional national focal points on early warning early action, and is calling on the international community to support such efforts.
“REAP strives to enable country and local-level leadership of early action strategies, plans and mechanisms. But we cannot achieve this without clearly understanding what is needed at the national level to ensure that governments can invest the time and resources in anticipatory approaches. We believe that the Partnership will be able to learn a lot from the experiences and expertise of the Somali Government and, in turn, help to catalyse the assistance necessary to enable Somalia to act ahead of crises”.
Ben Webster, REAP Head of Secretariat
“Somalia is experiencing multiple, overlapping climate hazards, as well as non-climate crises. However, in order to make best use of the lessons learned from these experiences, we must be able to strengthen our anticipatory systems and infrastructure. This will require additional resources from the international community, and these resources must then be directed to where they are needed most, based on data-driven decision-making and understanding of specific contextual needs. We are excited to take the next step on our journey of making early action the norm by joining REAP community, and we hope that other members will be motivated to support our efforts”.
Mahamud Moallim, SODMA commissioner
Notes to editor
REAP is a partnership that brings together an unprecedented range of stakeholders across the climate, humanitarian, and development communities with the aim of making 1 billion people safer from disasters by 2025. REAP was launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, with four targets designed to drive a systemic shift towards acting earlier, to reduce the impacts of disasters.
SODMA, the Somali Disaster Management Agency, holds a vision to transform Somalia into a fair, safer and resilient society where the impact of hazards would not hamper development and a better quality of life is achieved through effective emergency response, disaster risk reduction and resilient recovery. It aims to protect Somali lives, property, economy and environment through developing capacities of government and communities to better predict, mitigate, prepare for and manage disasters and crises.