On 3 December, Puntland Security Forces (PSF) and Darawish soldiers launched an offensive to retake the coastal town of Qandala in Bari region from Islamic State affiliated non-state armed actors who took control of the town on 26 October. Reports indicate that the PSF and Darawish soldiers have occupied Karimo village, 20 kilometers south west of Qandala. According to local community sources and humanitarian partners, there was an hour long armed clash on 5 December between the Islamic State affiliated non-state armed actors and the PSF and Dawarish soldiers. The Islamic State affiliated non-state armed actors reportedly planted victim activated explosive devices on the road between Karimo and Qandala town. This will have an impact on the ability of the displaced people to return, as even the affected areas will have to be surveyed and cleared before they can return. Local authorities and humanitarian partners estimate that some 3,000 people have so far been newly displaced since the launch of the offensive on 3 December. Approximately 22,700 people have been displaced since the non-state armed actors entered Qandala in late October. Cumulatively, 25,700 people have so far been displaced, more than half of the district’s 45,300 inhabitants. A majority of the displaced are women, children and the elderly. Most of the displaced have moved to surrounding villages, while others have sought refuge in Bossaso, 75 kilometers from Qandala. Some of the displaced are living with relatives, while others have rented shelter from the host communities. The conflict has worsened the humanitarian situation in Qandala as it comes amidst deteriorating drought conditions. More displacements are likely as the PSF and Dawarish soldiers enter the town and surrounding villages. Humanitarian partners and local authorities are concerned that the situation will deteriorate further if the displacement becomes protracted. Humanitarian impact and needs Prior to the Islamic State affiliated non-state armed actors’ takeover of Qandala district, food security partners were implementing food, nutrition and livelihood programmes through local partners while health partners had a mobile health facility and a Maternal and Child Health Centre (MCH). All activities have been suspended since the conflict began. In addition to displacing nearly 25,700 people, insecurity in Qandala and surrounding villages continue to hinder humanitarian partners from conducting in-depth assessments to identify needs of displaced populations. An initial rapid assessment that was conducted by a local partner in Buruc village, in Qandala district indicate that food, health, shelter and non-food items (NFIs), and water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) are the priority needs. Following the takeover of the town on 25 October, non-state armed actors closed the town’s school affecting learning of 300 children. They also closed the MCH facility and reportedly looted all the medical equipment and supplies. Further, on 17 November, they temporarily closed a school in Karin-daban village disrupting the learning of over 200 children. The school was re-opened when they left they retreated from the village. Humanitarian activities in the town have been affected as humanitarian organizations suspended operations. Commercial activities have also been disrupted impacting the livelihood of the people, especially those who depend on fishing. Humanitarian Response Since October, humanitarian partners in Bossaso, in collaboration with local authorities and host communities have stepped up response efforts to the affected people and vulnerable people in accessible areas. Humanitarian assistance including WASH and Shelter/NFIs has been provided to 3,720 displaced people in Buruc village. Health cluster partners have deployed a mobile health team to OCHA SOMALIA Flash Update Humanitarian impact of fighting in Qandala, Puntland | 6 December 2016 | 2 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Coordination Saves Lives | www.unocha.org For further information, please contact: Tapiwa Gomo, Head of Communication, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +252616548007. Abas Abdi, Public Information Officer, Mohamud3@un.org, Tel. +252619150457 Antonette Miday, Public Information Officer, email@example.com, Tel. +254-731- 043156. Kenneth Odiwuor, Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org ,Tel. +254-734-800120.OCHA information products are available at www.unocha.org/somalia | www.unocha.org | www.reliefweb.int Buruc village to provide services to the displaced people. Food security partners are planning to distribute food to 2,400 people in Buruc village, in Qandala district.