(RW)-Sanaag region is on the north eastern tip of Somaliland and neighbors Sool and Togdheer regions. The population of Sanaag region is estimated at 270,367 (UNDP 2005), with more than 79% living in the rural areas. Some part of Sanaag region is claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland – particularly areas bordering Puntland, whuich are predominantly inhabited by clans who have close kinship affinity with the clans in Puntland. However, Somaliland controls the majority of the districts in the region. The region is divided administratively into four districts of Erigavo, Ceel Afweyn, Badhan and Laas Qoray.
In terms of livelihoods, Sanaag is predominantly pastoral with pockets of agro-pastoral areas.
Cultivation of frankincense is a livelihood activity for small number of people in the region. The region, like most of the neighboring regions, experienced recurrent droughts for many years which severely depleted livestock herds and resulted in urban migration. For better protection, displaced people from drought-affected regions moved to areas where their sub-clans reside and where humanitarian assistance and other public services are available. The exact number of people displaced by these droughts is unknown because most have integrated into host communities.
Humanitarian access and security remain a huge challenge to the overall humanitarian effort in Sanaag due to the political dispute of administrative ownership of the region between Puntland and Somaliland. The main humanitarian issues in the region include lack of adequate livelihood sources, especially among drought-affected pastoralists and urban poor; and hyperinflation, which affects the purchasing power of the most vulnerable groups.
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