posted on Tue 8 Nov 2011 4:45 PM
Somalia Eritrea Sanctions Committee Meeting

The 751/1907 Sanctions Committee on Eritrea and Somalia will meet tomorrow (9 November). It will consider the report by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, which was submitted to Council members last week. Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy Director of the Coordination and Response Division of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is scheduled to brief the Committee.

In resolution 1972 of March 2011 the Council asked the Humanitarian Coordinator to report by 15 November on implementation of the provision relating to the humanitarian carve-out under the Somalia sanctions regime. It also asked him to report on politicisation, misuse and misappropriation of humanitarian assistance as well as constraints imposed on humanitarian access and in Somalia. (The humanitarian carve-out provision stipulates that the sanctions regime shall “not apply to the payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources necessary to ensure the timely delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Somalia” by the UN or certain other humanitarian organisations.)

The report which is now before the Council notes that there has been a significant increase in the number of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia from 2.4 million in March to 4 million in September.

It also notes that serious access constraints persist, especially in areas controlled by non-state armed groups in southern Somalia. However, the report states that there has been some improvement in access to populations in need and that since July the number of beneficiaries receiving food aid has tripled from 770,000 to 2.2 million people. The report indicates that the Humanitarian Coordinator has not found any incidences of misuse of humanitarian assistance or other misappropriation, but that there has been one incidence of politicisation.

The report also notes that most humanitarian organisations operating in Somalia do not consider that the implementation of the humanitarian carve-out has had any significant impact on their operations. It appears that it has also had little impact on donor funding.

The briefing to Council members on 16 November by India, as the chair of the Eritrea and Somalia Sanctions Committee, on the Committee’s work is likely to cover Bowden’s report.