Icon Our WorkScoping and Sector Review of Social Protection in Somaliland

The majority of Somaliland’s population live on very low incomes and would benefit significantly from access to Social Protection. Vulnerabilities in Somaliland are exacerbated by covariate and idiosyncratic shocks faced across the lifecycle, which can cause setbacks in families’ living standards, across entire communities. Recurring droughts have led to the total volume of livestock export decreasing by 45 per cent between 2012 and 2017, significantly affecting Somaliland’s markets which rely heavily on livestock exports. Over half of the population in Somaliland relies on pastoralism, who experience loss of land and resources as a result of environmental shocks, leading to forced migration and population displacement. As a result, Somaliland experiences rapid rates of urbanisation, leading to the creation of overcrowded informal settlements in which internally displaced persons (IDPs) are faced with limited income-generating opportunities, lack of access to basic services and social infrastructure, such as clean water, schools and health centres.

Children in Somaliland face significant challenges in the early stages of life as most families struggle to access adequate incomes and living standards, while larger families with more children are more likely to be living on low incomes. Essential public services, including schools, hospitals and sanitation facilities are unequally accessed by communities in Somaliland, and limited in availability overall.

This Scoping Study and Sector Review, produced under the guidance of the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family (MESAF) of Somaliland and Save the Children, is a strategic analysis of the existing policy landscape in Somaliland in order to inform the development of a Social Protection system. Its key focus is to analyse gaps in the current system and identify key challenges and opportunities moving forward to build the Social Protection Sector. With support from Save the Children, Somaliland is currently piloting a child benefit to IDP households in Hargeisa, which is embedded in a child-sensitive cash-plus approach. This review will focus on Somaliland’s pilot Child-Sensitive Social Protection Pilot (CSSP), within the context of Somaliland’s wider sector of social development, with a forward-looking analysis of opportunities to scale up the CSSP to become Somaliland’s first social protection programme and continue investing in inclusive programmes and build the capacity of stakeholders to deliver a Social Protection system.

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