Inspectie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Beleidsevaluatie

Humanitarian aid to Somalia

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This study is an evaluation of Netherlands-supported humanitarian assistance to Somalia in the period 1991-1993. The Netherlands' contribution amounted to about Dfl. 88 million. Somalia had been struck by a complex disaster caused by famine and civil conflict. The disaster was compounded by the collapse of the state and the breakdown of both the social and the physical infrastructure. As many as 500,000 Somalis died, 600,000 fled to neighbouring countries and some 1.4 million persons were internally displaced.

Delivery of humanitarian aid proved very difficult. Operations in Somalia were seriously impeded by the continuous fighting, and attacks, looting, threats and extortion went on unchecked upon the demise of law of order. In spite of this complicated context the Netherlands' aid to Somalia was relatively effective.

Evaluation of the aid was confronted with methodological constraints. Most relief aid is meant for immediate consumption; consequently, a number of projects had been completed by the time the field-study was undertaken. Availability of documentation was generally limited and relevant data were lacking.


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