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The Somali Health Cluster, under the leadership of the World Health Organization, is made up of more than 40 international and 80 national humanitarian health organizations that have been working together over the past five years to build partnerships and mutual understanding and to develop common approaches to humanitarian health action in Somalia.

The Health cluster serves as a mechanism for coordinated assessments, joint analyses, the development of agreed overall priorities, objectives and a health crisis response strategy. It also looks into the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation and impact of that strategy. The Health cluster enables participating organizations to work together and with the local health authorities, harmonize efforts, effectively integrate cross cutting issues, and use available resources efficiently within the framework of agreed objectives, priorities and strategies. In 2013, the Somali Health cluster is working with over 120 health cluster partners, representing communities, health authorities, and UN agencies. The participating organizations are expected to be proactive partners in assessing needs, developing strategies and plans for the overall health response, implementing agreed priority activities, ensuring attention to priority cross cutting issues and adhering to agreed standards, to the maximum extent possible.

In addition, the Somali Health cluster collaborates closely with other clusters, in particular the nutrition and WASH clusters, as well as other stakeholders for the provision of emergency and recovery health services in Somalia.the mission of the Health cluster in Somalia is to build consensus on humanitarian health priorities and related best practices, and strengthen system-wide capacities to ensure an effective and predictable health response.

Within the Somali context, the Health cluster focuses specifically on:

  1. Providing guidance and tools and standards and policies
  2. Coordinating the health response activities in country, based on reliable morbidity and mortality information, including provision of medicines, essential equipment and technical assistance in order to support basic health care services for the affected population
  3. Establishing systems and procedures for rapid deployment of the experts and supplies, and
  4. Building partnerships to implement and promote this work. The Somali Health cluster provides life-saving humanitarian health care by rationing scarce resources to populations in crises. Its main principle is to provide the backbone for a health system that quickly qualifies through stages of emergency and early recovery. The outcome is to harness resilience in the community and create a sense of stabilization in the Somali population.

Each year the Somali Humanitarian actors conduct an annual planning exercise, called the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP). All stakeholders are engagded in this comprehensive process and vet project proposals for vital life-saving humanitarian interventions. Following this exercise, funding is mobilized through Common Humanitarian Funds (CHF) for the emegency projects planned by the cluster partners. Each cluster nominates a group of constituency based representatives to steer the process. This group is called Cluster Review Committee or CRC. They review the cluster specific priority CAP projects as well as recommend project proposals for funding as per guidelines of the CHF Advisory Board.