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IOM Somalia COVID-19 Preparedness and Response – Mission Update #8 (10 May – 16 May 2020)

The humanitarian crisis in Somalia, characterized by both natural and man-made factors, is one of the most complex and longstanding emergencies in the world. Somalia is currently facing Locust crisis, whilst simultaneously entered the Gu rainy season, with many areas recording more than twice their average rainfall, causing floods across Somalia and displacing over 400,000 people. With 2.6 million displaced persons, COVID-19 poses an additional challenge in already fragile context where it may further hinder access to basic services, leaving the population highly vulnerable.

As a key source, transit and, to some extent, destination country for migratory flows, Somalia continues to have an influx of migrants from neighboring countries through irregular migration routes, especially from Ethiopia. Hundreds of migrants are stranded in Bossaso as a result of border and sea-crossing closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. IOM data show that migration in the Eastern route is still taking place despite the new border restrictions in the region. In comparison to data collected in the first half of April in 2019, there have been 501 more arrivals in Bossaso, but departures have fallen, with 8,261 less migrants trying to cross the Gulf of Aden during the same dates. While more people continue to arrive in Bossaso, higher number of Ethiopian migrants are stranded in the city. IOM estimates that nearly 400 migrants are currently hosted by members of the Ethiopian community living in informal settlements around the city. Recognizing that mobility is a determinant of health and risk exposure, there is a need to urgently adopt innovative, systematic, multisectoral and inclusive responses to mitigate, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 amongst the migrant population.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Somalia is increasing rapidly. As of 16 May, Somalia has confirmed 1,357 COVID-19 cases in the country, 55 reported fatalities and 152 recovered cases. The majority of the new cases are through community transmission and are reported from several regions of Somalia.


Source: International Organization for Migration