Map of Somalia
UNICEF photo: A polio vaccinator gives a Somali girl drops of polio vaccine in Somaliland during a round of emergency polio vaccinations in November 2013. More than 180 cases of polio have been recorded in Somalia since the outbreak began in May. © UNICEF/2013/A.Makundi A polio vaccinator gives a Somali girl drops of polio vaccine in Somaliland during a round of emergency polio vaccinations in November 2013. More than 180 cases of polio have been recorded in Somalia since the outbreak began in May.


Updated January 2014

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are treated


children under 5 receive polio vaccine and 300,000 children under 1 are vaccinated against measles


vulnerable people meet basic food and non-food needs

2014 Requirements: US$155,137,406

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Total affected population: 3.2 million
Total affected children (under 18): 2.3 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 3.2 million
Total children to be reached in 2014: 1.9 million

Despite some improvement since the devastating famine in 2011-2012, mortality and malnutrition rates remain extremely high in Somalia. This is particularly the case in the South Central Zone, the country’s largest and most populous area, which has also been the worst affected by instability over the last two decades. The protracted crisis is driven by climatic variability, poverty, political instability, conflict and lack of services. An estimated 870,000 people (70 per cent of whom are internally displaced), require life-saving assistance. An additional 2.3 million people remain highly vulnerable to shocks and are on the margins of food insecurity. About 206,000 children are acutely malnourished and 600,000 children and 100,000 pregnant or lactating women require sustained nutrition interventions. An estimated 3.2 million Somalis lack access to health care, more than 1.74 million children lack access to education and more than 2.75 million people lack sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). About 1.1 million internally displaced persons are in need of emergency shelter and basic non-food items. Sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls is widespread. In the first half of 2013 alone, approximately 800 cases were reported in Mogadishu, with similarly high numbers in other areas. Armed groups commit grave violations against children, primarily abductions and forced recruitment.1

Humanitarian strategy

2014 programme targets


  • Treatment for 135,000 children suffering from SAM and more than 60 per cent case coverage for SAM treatment
  • 90 per cent geographic coverage of integrated management of acute malnutrition in the regions


  • 1,900,000 children under 5 receive polio vaccine and 300,000 children under 1 immunized against measles
  • At least 50,000 pregnant women deliver at health facilities through skilled birth attendants


  • 500,000 internally displaced persons and host community members provided with safe water
  • 500,000 emergency-affected persons benefiting from hygiene and sanitation promotion messages

Child protection

  • 7,000 survivors of gender-based violence, abuse and violence assisted
  • 2,000 children associated with armed conflict reintegrated into their communities


  • 180,000 vulnerable children will benefit from learning options

Social protection

  • 90,000 vulnerable people are able to meet basic food and non-food needs with improved access to services in situations of crisis

In 2014, UNICEF Somalia aims to prevent mortality and morbidity, promote community resilience, increase access to services and build community capacity to anticipate and cope with shocks. UNICEF will strengthen and extend community-level primary health care, focusing on decentralized child, sexual and reproductive health care, and will support a network of community health workers. Eradication of polio is a top priority and efforts will be made to immunize all children. UNICEF will provide a package of curative and preventive nutrition interventions, while strengthening the implementation capacity of the Government, partners and communities. This will be reinforced under the forthcoming social protection framework, which will address the causes of structural vulnerability to foster resilience, and will provide cash to chronically vulnerable families. In WASH, UNICEF will promote live-saving and resilience initiatives by increasing access to temporary and sustained safe water, promoting emergency sanitation and extending the community-led approach in areas prone to flooding, drought, acute watery diarrhoea, cholera and polio. Immediate response capacity will be maintained through 10 supply hubs across the South Central Zone. UNICEF will continue to support the release and reintegration of children associated with armed groups, and will monitor and report on grave violations, while preventing and responding to gender-based violence. Protective environments will be complemented by emergency education, and emphasis will be placed on improving access, quality and capacity. UNICEF leads the WASH, nutrition and education clusters, and child protection and gender-based violence areas of responsibility. UNICEF programmes will be implemented using a resilience approach that provides equitable and integrated prevention, promotion and referral services, and strengthens community structures, surveillance systems, and community engagement and mobilization.

Results from 2013

UNICEF’s initial appeal for US$140,960,022 was increased to US$155,750,577 due to the polio outbreak, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$68,441,427, or 44 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions.2 In nutrition, UNICEF reached twice the number of children targeted for treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM).3 Working in close partnership with the Somali Authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF’s immediate response to prevent the spread of polio was instrumental to controlling the outbreak in the South Central Zone. The response involved expansion into accessible and inaccessible areas through work with community actors and the use of transit points. In addition, access to essential health services has increased. As of September 2013, 420,000 outpatient department consultations for children under 5 took place. UNICEF provided access to safe drinking water and to sustained and temporary water supplies to over one million people, while increasing the resilience of communities by using health posts as an entry point to deliver a package of WASH interventions. Cash transfers and vouchers provided to 77,400 vulnerable people empowered these beneficiaries to prioritize and meet their own critical needs. UNICEF also provided 272,687 children with access to education. The number of women accessing gender-based violence services continued to increase in 2013. The ongoing conflict in the South Central Zone posed a challenge to access, however, and impeded achievement of the combined diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine (DPT3) immunization targets. In general, implementation continues to be challenged by limited access and serious funding gaps.

Results through 31 October unless noted

Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2014 Strategic Response Plan, UNICEF is appealing for US$155.1 million to meet the humanitarian needs of women and children in Somalia in 2014. This funding will facilitate the continuity of basic services for the most vulnerable populations, and will contribute to the resilience of vulnerable populations in the face of future shocks.

1 Facts and figures from the 2014 Humanitarian Needs Overview, Somalia, prepared by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
2 Data as of 3 December 2013.
3 UNICEF achieved an average recovery rate of 86 per cent.
4 UNICEF and cluster figures are identical as UNICEF is the main agency responsible for providing services for severely malnourished children in Somalia.
5 The World Food Programme (WFP) has the primary responsibility for treating moderately malnourished children.
6 In 2012, UNICEF partially covered services for moderately malnourished children, because WFP was banned in parts of the South Central Zone. In 2013, only limited services were provided to children with moderate acute malnutrition.
7 During the polio campaign in August the target was revised to children aged 5 to 10 in the South Central Zone. Hence, the number of children reached is high.
8 This target was changed from ‘people newly accessing safe sanitation’ to a target that includes social mobilization in addition to services.
9 Includes polio outbreak response needs.
10 The figure includes US$500,000 each for nutrition and WASH cluster coordination, and US$200,000 for education cluster coordination.