Horn of Africa Crisis MHPSS Conference call minutes.
July 21st 2011
Ruth O’Connell- MHPSS RG
Sarah Harrison- MHPSS RG
Christine McCormick- Save the Children
Cecile Bizouerne- ACF France
Inka Weissbecker- IMC
Guglielmo Schinina- IOM
1. Who is responding/ Updates from Organisations
Save the Children
Save have increased their CFSs in Kenya and Somalia, and the child protection
focus s on family tracing.
They are keen to involve CFSs in feeding centres, not the other way around, given
the fact that CFSs need to be used properly with standards upheld, but there is
also the need to ensure that the nutritional focus of the feeding centre is
GBV is a concern, and protection issues in general are being sidelined, which is a
Assessments are taking place in Somaliland and Mogadishu, coordinated by Save
and UNICEF, among others to be confirmed.
ACF are already in Somalia, and are scaling up. The focus is more on nutrition
and food distribution, but as part of ACF’s integrated response, they will open
baby tents and a psychologist will be attached to the nutrition tent in Ethiopia.
(ACF France). ACF US is working in Kenya and developing emergency programs
As with ACF’s integrated approach, GBV issues will be targeted through the
feeding centres and baby tents etc.
ACT works in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.
In Kenya, (Dadaab camps) psychosocial support is being provided by a partner,
LWF, (Camp managers) who are engaged in vulnerability screening and
diverting vulnerable groups where necessary to UNICEF and UNHCR.
In Dadaab, ACT are focusing on education for children who can not access
existing facilities due to high numbers.
LWF also have a Social Assistance Unit that does follow up ‘home visits’ to
persons of concern within the camps.
ACT have been in the area since 2007, and are in the process of scaling up their
response. Somalia and Ethiopia have not been involved in an MHPSS response as
yet. LWF are carrying out assessments in Dolo Ado camp complex on the
Somalia/ Ethiopia border as the Ethiopian Govt & UNHCR have asked them to
manage the camps & help them with the scale up to handle the incoming Somali
International Medical Corps (IMC)
IMC already has programs in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Programs in Ethiopia
are focusing on nutrition, WASH, GBV and health and mental health.
As the situation is changing, more information and an appropriate response will
emerge. In response to the current crisis, IMC is also planning on integrating
early childhood development (ECD) with nutrition programs and considering
other responses as well .
Inka (IMC) will look into IMC’s approach to baby tents and breast-feeding
support and revert.
IOM is to help pastoralists in north-eastern Kenya who are suffering from the extreme
effects of drought and are sharing scant resources with large numbers of Somalis who
continue to arrive in the area on a daily basis.
The organisation is spending US$ 400,000, provided by the UN Central Emergency
Response Fund, (CERF) to assist some 40,000 vulnerable pastoralists in the region, 60%
of them being women.
The funds will be used in a six-month emergency programme that will involve the re-
stocking of households with camels, the rehabilitation of water retention structures and
wells along livestock migratory routes, the provision and distribution of health kits and
supplement feed for the livestock. Community training for herders on pasture storage,
conservation and use will also take place.
IOM will work in partnership with the Kenyan government’s Ministry of Livestock, the
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), local NGOs and community leaders.
While humanitarian agencies at Dadaab are focussing on providing much needed
assistance to the daily flow of refugees, more attention needs to the paid to the needs of
the host communities.
Meanwhile, IOM’s project to provide emergency assistance to counter acute watery
diarrhoea outbreaks in the northern Turkana County has received a boost from CERF
funding to the tune of US$ 115,000.
Under the project, IOM will work in close collaboration with the local and international
health partners, including AMREF, WHO, IRC and MSF, to reach some 55,000
vulnerable individuals, mostly women and children under the age of five. This group is
particularly at risk of water borne diseases due to the drought which is forcing them to
use contaminated water.
IOM will assist in the provision of essential drugs and equipment to the district medical
centres and will contribute towards the containment of the outbreak through the
provision of water purification tablets and through community awareness raising
While no specific psychosocial programs are envisaged at this point in time, IOM is
ready to coordinate with existing psychosocial programs to find synergies, as
IOM will share a note on the impact of the crisis on migration paths in the
IMC will share an assessment carried out a couple of months ago, and are
currently considering carrying out additional assessments (which they would
It was highlighted that there is a greater need for information on the situation in
Southern Ethiopia and Somalia.
3. Child Friendly Spaces (CFS)
Save the Children
Save highlighted the need for families not to be sent to different places in order
to access different support, and suggested that integrated screening could be
carried out in existing and emerging feeding centres, where women and children
could be accessed.
In order to ensure child safety, it would be better to incorporate MHPSS support
into feeding centres/ mobile outreach rather than the other way around.
It is difficult to carry out general screening in Dadaab, for example, due to staff
capacity and lack of time.
IOM noted that as there are approx.. half a million unaccompanied children
identified, the CFS model of activity based support will not be enough, and we
need to look at integrating other supports.
- Christine will contact Susan from the education cluster to explore ways of
incorporating MHPSS into outreach education activities
- Ruth and Sarah will ensure that MHPSS messages are incorporated into
protection and child protection messages currently being developed
- A group for the Horn of Africa crisis has been set up on www.mhpss.net.
This is the new version of the psychosocialnetwork.net site. “Horn of
Africa- Persistent drought-2011”
- ACF will share their presentation to the Nutrition cluster in the new
group on MHPSS site
- Ruth will continue to look at the CFS issue and how to adapt/ make it
relevant to this situation, including contacting Yemen and Pakistan to
look at their mobile model
- MHPSS co chairs to continue to look at how to incorporate MHPSS
principles into other clusters and responses, including using existing
advocacy packages and guidelines drawn up- What health/protection
actors need to know etc.
- All to share assessments with Ruth as more information comes in
- Ruth to liaise with GBV AOR