In Somaliland, volunteer vaccinators help contain the threat of polio
HARGEISA, Somalia, 18 December 2013 – In May 2013, the first case of polio seen in Somalia in more than six years was announced in Mogadishu. Plans for mass vaccination campaigns were drawn up. The authorities in Hargeisa, in Somalia’s northern region of Somaliland, took no chances, and they announced a high alert.
Upgrades in care save the lives of mothers and newborns in Somalia
BOROMA, Somaliland, 29 November 2013 – Layla Darhir groans. Midwife Foosiya Omer quickly shifts her full attention to the 28-year-old, who has been in labour for six hours.
Programme provides a full courseload for pastoralist girls in Somalia
SOMALILAND, Somalia, 18 November 2013 – Somali children who once would have bypassed schooling to herd animals are now receiving a basic education, thanks in part to a UNICEF programme focused on rural and pastoralist communities.
Go-2-School campaign aims to put one million children in the classroom
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 3 October 2013 – There was a rare atmosphere of excitement and celebration at the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu for the September launch of the Go-2-School campaign, which aims to send 1 million children and youth to school.
In Somalia, a major campaign to stop the spread of polio
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 August 2013 – The mother of 3-year-old Mohamed Seef Naasir never realized the importance of vaccinating her children against polio until it was too late. The family lives hand-to -mouth in a makeshift shelter in a camp in the Somali capital Mogadishu for people displaced by the famine and conflict.
Polio outbreak in Somalia threatens to spread
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2013 – Faisa Abdullahi, 8 years old, lives in a camp for internally displaced people, where her family moved after their cattle died. She had never been given any vaccinations, and during the last polio outbreak, Faisa contracted the disease. Now she can only walk with the help of her crutches.
Groundbreaking new vaccine will save lives in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 30 April 2013 – At the Medina Mother and Child Health Centre in Mogadishu, 6-month-old Abdul Wahab sleeps peacefully in his mother’s arms.
Towards abandoning female genital mutilation/cutting in Somalia for once, and for all
BOORAMA, northwest Somalia, 27 February 2013 – Ten-year-old Kheiriya has a secret. The secret is that, unlike most girls her age in Boorama, she has not been circumcised. The soft-spoken girl is scared to let others know.
Community-based approach addresses acute malnutrition in Somalia
BURAO, Somalia, 12 February 2013 – The first year of Ubah Ismail’s life was difficult. At 5 months, she had pneumonia, followed by a severe intestinal upset that left her with diarrhoea for much of her sixth month.
UNICEF leads Child Health Days to stem the tide of preventable childhood diseases across Somalia
BOSSASO, Somalia, 10 December 2012 – The journey to defeat the diseases that kill thousands of children every year in Somalia starts in the chilly light of dawn.
UNICEF leads Child Health Days to stem the tide of preventable childhood diseases across Somalia
A school census has collected crucial data to help Somalia achieve quality education for all
HARGEISA/GAROWE, Somalia, 27 November 2012 - UNICEF and the Ministries of Education in Puntland and Somaliland have put education reform in the spotlight through the launch of the School Census Statistics Year Book 2011/2012.
In Somalia, UNICEF supports efforts to push back against a tide of violence against women and girls
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 20 November 2012 – Mayeda* was displaced in 1992 and again in 2011 because of famine in southern Somalia. She has lived in Tarabunka camp for a year.
Months after famine conditions have ended, health centres across southern Somalia help children suffering from malnutrition
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 13 November 2012 – Ten-month-old Ifrah Mohamed Abdi was born as the first famine declared in more than 20 years in Africa held its grip on the village in which her family has lived for generations.
Scholarships help Somali girls cross barriers to education
HARGEISA, Somalia, 2 October 2012 - For 14-year-old Filsan Faisal Ismail, who lives in Hargeisa district, Somaliland, a school degree would be a bridge to a brighter future.
Aid trickles into Somalia's drought hit Baidoa region as militant group Al-Shabaab moves out
BAIDOA, Somalia, 3 August 2012 - Until just three weeks ago, Nuriya Moallim and her family of nine children and grandchildren had managed to stay in their village in southern Somalia. Despite the failed rains and the drought of 2011, they persevered.
Field Diary: Recovering from a brush with death in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 25 July 2012 – In September 2011, two months after famine was officially declared in the Horn of Africa by the United Nations, I was in the southern region of Somalia – the hardest-hit area.
In Somalia, fuel-efficient stoves prevent sexual violence and generate income for vulnerable families
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 25 July 2012 – Girls and women in Mogadishu say that they are at greatest risk of sexual violence while they are collecting firewood. Children between ages 5 and 14 are at especially high risk, as they are the age group mostly assigned to this task.
Field Diary: A mourning mother in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 23 July 2012 – At 50 years old, Kaltuumo Abdi Ibrahim left her life behind. She came to the capital from Dahar Village, where she had been an agro-pastoral farmer, after the drought killed her animals and crops.
In Ethiopia's refugee camps, life-saving assistance for Somali arrivals
DOLLO ADO, Ethiopia, 20 July 2012 – Mariami Ibrahim raised her hand in protest. “Never,” she declared when asked if she plans to return to Somalia.Ms. Ibrahim arrived in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, near the borders of Somalia and Kenya, twelve months ago, following a harrowing trek from her home near Baidoa, Somalia.
Daily hardship remains a way of life for many children in Somalia
BOSASO, Somalia, 19 July 2012 – A year after the declaration of famine in the Horn of Africa, 9-year-old Osman Adan Mohamed still faces daily hardship. Osman was displaced by the famine that hit parts of southern Somalia in 2011. Today he lives in the town of Bosaso and works on the street as a shoe shiner to support his mother and four siblings. He does not go to school.
One year after Somalia's famine, a story of recovery
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2012 – Amina walked briskly with her 4-year-old son, Ismail Mohamed, to fetch water at the edge of the camp where they live in Mogadishu. As the sun rose, they could hear the sound of babies crying and distant gunfire.
One year after the declaration of famine, Somalia sees signs of progress
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2012 – Dressed in helmets and body armour, UNICEF Emergency Specialist Maulid Warfa takes an armed convoy through Mogadishu, passing through the strategic K4 crossroads.
Safe water remains scarce in Somalia, contributing to disease and malnutrition
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 21 March 2012 – A line of women and children curves around the wall of a defunct hospital, now home to an Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) in the Hodan District of Mogadishu.
Somalia’s refugees return home to rebuild the country’s education system
SOMALILAND, Somalia, 10 January 2012 – Ali Abdullah stands at the front of the class asking students their ages, how long they take to walk to school, whether they are orphans, and whether any have learning or development needs.
UNICEF and SAACID promote exclusive breastfeeding in Somalia's drought-affected communities
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 December 2011 – Nawaal Mohamed Nur, a 34-year-old mother of nine in the Shingani District of Mogadishu, has had a harrowing several months. In June of this year, her daughter Amira was diagnosed with acute malnutrition.
Measles infection rates on the decline after successful vaccination campaign in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 28 November 2011—Weaving between makeshift huts of plastic sheeting, health workers urgently knock on every door in Mogadishu: “Today’s the day!” they say, “Vaccination day!”
Famine on the retreat in southern Somalia, millions still remain in need
NEW YORK, 18 November 2011—UNICEF has welcomed the news that famine is on the retreat in southern Somalia.
UNICEF Child Friendly Spaces provide support to displaced children in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 November 2011 - For hundreds of thousands of displaced Somali children, daily life is a mixture of fear and insecurity. Communities break apart, as one by one families leave their villages to flee ongoing conflict. If they survive the journey to Mogadishu, life is not much easier, as they are faced with the daily challenge of finding food and shelter.
Q&A with UNICEF Somalia’s Hannan Sulieman: ‘It’s about children, no matter where they are’
NAIROBI, Kenya, 31 October 2011 – In a recent conversation with UNICEF.org, Hannan Sulieman, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Somalia, described the daunting challenges that face Somali children and families amidst the Horn of Africa’s worst drought crisis in decades.
Crisis continues 100 days after famine was declared in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 28 OCTOBER 2011 – Just two months ago, three-year-old Moktar Mohamed was on the verge of death. After his parents lost their livestock and crops to the drought, they travelled by foot and truck from Middle Shabelle to Mogadishu, a trek of over 100 kilometres.
UNICEF's week-long handwashing campaign reaches 1,500,000 people across Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 24 October 2011 – Last week, millions of people across the globe commemorated Global Handwashing Day by celebrating the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective, simple, and affordable way to prevent disease. In Somalia, UNICEF and partners marked the event with a week-long series of events, including the installation of handwashing facilities in numerous health centres and schools throughout the country.
Somali journalists attend UNICEF-supported workshop to focus on humanitarian reporting
HARGEISA, Somalia, 20 October 2011 – Correct information is essential to accurate reporting, Ahmed Ali Mohamed, a trainer for Radio Ergo, recently told a gathering of 27 Somali journalists at a five-day multimedia workshop on humanitarian reporting held in Hargeisa.
Long-awaited rains cause further displacement and child deaths in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 October 2011 - The long awaited Deyr rains have finally arrived in the south central region of Somalia, bringing much relief to those who have suffered through a drought which has lasted as many as two years in some areas.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors make an appeal for continued support in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 6 October 2011 – Goodwill Ambassadors Yuna Kim, Serena Williams, Ishmael Beah and Angelique Kidjo are making an appeal for continued support in the Horn of Africa, utilizing social media to distribute a new series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) which call on their fans to engage in the ongoing effort to end this devastating crisis.
UNICEF sends in health experts to prevent cholera epidemic in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 3 October 2011 - In a small classroom in Mogadishu, over twenty qualified Somali nurses, men and women are gathering tools to fight cholera and acute watery diarrhoea.
In Kenyan camps, vaccine protects Somali refugee children from killer pneumonia
DADAAB, Kenya, 14 September 2011 – About six months ago, Kenya was one of the first countries in Africa to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine, and children now have access to this life-saving intervention through routine immunization in the Dadaab refugee camps in the north-east of the country.
For Somali refugee children in Kenya, the new school year offers a fresh start
DADAAB, Kenya, 9 September 2011 – For children around the world, the end of the school holidays usually comes with mixed feelings. That was surely the case as schools re-opened their doors this week in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya.
UNICEF supports stabilization centres to treat malnourished children in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 8 September 2011 – Mohamed, 2, weighed just over five kg when he was brought to Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu recently. His family had arrived in the Somali capital just a month earlier. Due to prolonged drought, they had lost all of their livestock back home in Elbur, located in the Galgaduud region of central Somalia.
Goodwill Ambassador Youssou N'Dour meets Somali refugee children in Dadaab, Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 7 September 2011 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Youssou N’Dour met children in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya earlier this week, hearing for himself some of the many stories of suffering amongst the more than 435,000 people who have fled to the camps to escape famine, drought and insecurity in Somalia.
UNICEF combats measles in overcrowded displacement camps in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 2 September 2011 –“He doesn’t sleep,” says Furiyay, a mother whose young son sits lethargically on her lap. The boy is thin and his legs are covered with sores. “He vomits the whole night and has diarrhoea,” his mother adds.
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow issues urgent appeal after visiting Somali refugees
NEW YORK, USA, 30 August 2011 – “Something huge is happening, and it’s terrible,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow after visiting the world’s largest refugee settlement in Dadaab, north-eastern Kenya.
School is a safe haven for children displaced by famine and conflict in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 30 August 2011 – Nearly 100 Somali schoolchildren flip through paperback books with as much excitement as if they were the latest comics fresh off the presses. The pages, however, are covered with maths, science formulas and handwriting exercises.
UNICEF mounts urgent response to contain the spread of cholera in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 August 2011 - Foday Ali’s five-month-old baby is looking around, showing signs of life for the first time in four days since she was admitted to the Banadir Paediatric Unit in Mogadishu for severe malnutrition. She was born in an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp in Mogadishu just days after her mother completed the 25 kilometre walk from her home just north of El Ma’an.
In Somalia, schooling continues for IDPs and incoming children amidst drought crisis
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 16 August 2011 - Nearly 100 young Somali children flip through paperback books with as much excitement as if they were reading the latest comic book hot off the presses. The pages, however, are covered with maths and science formulas and handwriting exercises.
Feeding centres treat malnourished children amidst famine in southern Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, 8 August 2011 – Habib Isack has left her home in Wajid, southern Somalia, for the first time – but not by choice. Drought killed her crops and her livestock. Sheer desperation drove her to take her children and set out on foot for Doolow, near the border with Ethiopia, in search of help.
A greater humanitarian response is needed as crisis deepens in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 5 August 2011 – As the crisis in the Horn of Africa deepens, the United Nations has warned that all of southern Somalia could slip into famine in the next two months. Just this week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared that three new areas in Somalia have deteriorated into a famine situation.
UNICEF and partners race against time as Horn of Africa crisis worsens
NEW YORK, USA, 28 July 2011 – History is repeating itself in the Horn of Africa. Images of severely malnourished children – and of people walking great distances across parched earth in search of food and water – haunt the public conscience. A combination of drought, conflict and soaring food prices is turning deadly for the region’s most vulnerable children and families.
Field diary: Somali refugee, 14, waits for her life to begin again in Dadaab, Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 12 July 2011 – It was at Block N-Zero in Ifo camp that I first saw her. This is the camp where some of the new arrivals first settle. Her young face was hidden by the headdress that she wore.
UNICEF responds to Horn of Africa food crisis that has left 2 million children malnourished
DADAAB, Kenya, 11 July 2011 – It was a difficult decision, but in the end Hawa Issak decided to leave her home. The drought had destroyed her family’s livelihood, her husband had left her and she was pregnant. She did not see any future in southern Somalia’s Gedo Region, so she joined up with six other families, hoping to find help in neighbouring Kenya.
Amidst the region's worst drought in decades, Somali refugees crowd camps in Kenya
NEW YORK, USA, 11 July 2011– Hundreds of thousands of refugees are overwhelming camps in Dadaab, north-eastern Kenya, where they are seeking a haven from drought and conflict in neighbouring Somalia.
In Somalia, UNICEF constructs classrooms and trains teachers for children displaced by conflict
BOSSASO, Somalia, 26 May 2011 – In classroom number two at a primary school located in Shabelle camp for displaced people in Bossaso, Deputy Headmaster and maths teacher Abdijabar Odol Mohamed has neatly written down a set of quizzes on the blackboard.
Field diary: UNICEF helps provide water to Somalia's drought-hit regions
GALKAYO, Somalia, 20 April 2011 – We set out on a Saturday and headed east from our base in Galkayo toward Hobyo, a coastal town and a haven for some of Somalia’s pirates. After only a few kilometres’ drive we were in a dusty semi-desert, amid scorching earth. The first settlement we came upon was the little village of Bitale, a strategic watering point for livestock. Though the settlement is impoverished it boasts a towering telecommunication mast: a sign of Somalia’s technology boom.
Gender equality classes help Somali teenage girls stay in school
BURTINLE, Somalia, 28 March 2011 – At first, the class of teenagers is a little shy when asked whether menstruation or early marriage is the more common reason why girls drop out of school.
Child Protection Advocates provide a safety net for vulnerable Somali children
HARGEISA, Somalia, 7 March 2011 – If it wasn’t for Nimo Daher, a Child Protection Advocate in one of the settlements for displaced people in Hargeisa, a city in Somaliland, baby Hussein (not his real name) would have likely suffered neglect and abandonment.
In Somalia, youth centres provide young adults with crucial life skills
BURAO, Somalia, 9 February 2011 – Glancing down from the computer screen, Fathiya Suleiman taps swiftly at the keyboard, firing off Google Chat messages to a relative thousands of miles away in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
UNICEF and Japan support improved education and health for vulnerable Somali children
BURAO, Somalia, 13 January 2011 – Teacher Faisal Ahmed turns from the blackboard and asks his class of eager teenagers about metres squared and metres cubed. In the third row from the front, Hibaq Abdirahman glances down at the math textbook on the desk before her, then shoots her hand up to explain the difference between area and volume.
In Somalia, UNICEF-supported programme treats malnutrition before it becomes life-threatening
HARGEISA, Somalia, 30 December 2010 – Salman Haji, 4, stands in the corner of a tin-walled hut, solemnly staring at the man in the white coat as he searches through an impressive amount of official looking paper spread across a large table in a seemingly random fashion. Eventually, a yellow medical card is found recording the details of Salman’s last visit to this mobile clinic, located on the outskirts of Hargeisa.
Community mobilizers help to fight childhood malnutrition in Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia, 22 December 2010 – Halima Awali, 60, shushes the crowd of boisterous children gathered around her and proclaims, “I was there to bring almost all of these babies into the world.” Squinting into the fierce noon Somaliland sun, the smiling grandmother adds, “Now I am here to make sure all of them stay here.”
Despite challenges, UNICEF partners in Mogadishu strive to reach women and children
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 29 September 2010 – It is hard to think of a place where children are more at risk than Somalia.
Field diary: More efforts needed to help Somali families survive and thrive
BOSSASO and GAROWE, Somalia, 1 September 2010 – As soon as I arrived in Bossaso, the main port town located in northeast Somalia, the scorching heat, strong wind and barren plains brought back the memory of my past experience in Somalia.
In Somalia, a Public-Private partnership provides safe water to thousands
BOROMA, Somalia, 29 July 2010 – Residents of Boroma town in north-west Somalia don’t take access to safe water for granted.
Life skills-based education builds young Somalis' self-confidence
NAIROBI, Kenya, 12 July 2010 – Muna Ali Hirsi, 24, is a vibrant and motivated life-skills mentor who works with young people aged 12 to 21 in north-west Somalia (Somaliland).
Letter from Mogadishu
NAIROBI, Kenya, 25 June 2010 – I went to Mogadishu to visit the UNICEF compound and spend time with our colleagues there. I was told that it was the first visit by a UNICEF Representative to the Mogadishu office since 2007, due to a deterioration of security conditions in the city.
Field diary: In Somalia's Boroma district, Child Health Days campaign is making strides
BOROMA DISTRICT, Somalia, 17 June 2010 – I arrive in Hayaayabo village early in the morning. This is one of the sites where the Child Health Days Campaign, supported by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, is being implemented.
In remote communities, Child Health Days bring life-saving services to Somali women and children
BOROMA, Somalia, 9 June 2010 – Among the many mothers who came with their children to the Child Health Days campaign site, Abdi Ibrahim was one of very few fathers to be seen. He came early in the morning with his 16-month-old daughter, Sahra, to make sure she is vaccinated against preventable diseases.
Visiting Somalia, UNICEF Regional Director notes progress made on safe water
BOSSASO, Somalia, 13 May 2010 – Bossaso, a busy port town on the northern coast of Somalia, is an economic hub in the semi-autonomous Puntland region. Tens of thousands of Somalia’s estimated 1.5 million internally displaced people live here, shielded from the intense heat only by cardboard and bits of rags.
After alarming rise, UNICEF calls for release of Somali child soldiers
NEW YORK, NY, USA, 7 May 2010 – As reports warn of an alarming rise in the recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia, UNICEF and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict are calling on all parties to put an immediate end to this criminal practice.
Goodwill Ambassador for Japan Agnes Chan reflects on her travels on behalf of UNICEF
TOKYO, JAPAN, 22 March 2010 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Japan Agnes Chan – a renowned Asian pop singer, doctor of education and television personality – has made more than a dozen trips to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East since she began working with Japan Committee for UNICEF in1998. Alongside her work with UNICEF, Dr. Chan also promotes peace and lobbies on behalf of women and children’s rights.
Amidst fighting, Somali children receive life-saving health services in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 February 2010 – Despite fighting that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people here, a large-scale Child Health Days campaign has succeeded in reaching children and women with high-impact health services in all of the Somali capital’s 16 districts.
Essential education and health supplies reach Somali children
HARGEISA, Somalia, 14 January 2010 – Until the most recent school semester, every textbook at Sheikh Nur Primary School was shared by at least four students. But thanks to a new supply, students can now follow their lessons in their very own textbooks.
Water and sanitation upgrades improve life for Somali children and women
DHEENTA VILLAGE, Somalia, 06 January 2010 - The people of Dheenta village didn’t have safe water until two months ago. But now, thanks to the UNICEF-supported new water system, about 300 families are benefiting from a regular supply of clean and safe water.
UNICEF Radio youth reporter interviews 16-year-old Hassan Abdi Elmi about life in a Somali refugee camp
NEW YORK, USA, 18 December 2009 – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In honour of the anniversary, UNICEF Radio youth reporter Mostafa Mohamed Abdurrahman spoke with Hassan Abdi Elmi, 16, about his life in a refugee camp in Bossaso – a coastal town northeast of Somalia.
Somali communities say ‘No’ to female genital cutting
NAIROBI, Kenya, 14 December 2009 – Last month, hundreds of men, women and children gathered in a Somali stadium in the early morning heat to witness a historic declaration: the collective abandonment of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) by representatives from 20 communities.
UNICEF programme expanded to fight widespread undernutrition in Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia, 8 December 2009 - In Somalia, more than 40 per cent of children exhibit signs of chronic nutritional deprivation. This can be a life-threatening condition if appropriate interventions are not provided.
Child Health Days reach displaced communities in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor
NAIROBI, Kenya, 24 November, 2009 – For the first time ever, a Child Health Days campaign has reached displaced children and women in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor, a 30 km stretch of road west of Mogadishu that is the world’s most densely populated settlement for the displaced.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director urges stepped-up response to crisis in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 19 November 2009 – Time is running out for children in Somalia. The number of people affected by hunger and severe food insecurity has doubled in the last year to more than 3.6 million. Almost half are children. Without immediate funding, UNICEF will have to close many feeding centres for undernourished children.
Funding shortfalls may threaten critical humanitarian assistance in Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, 21 October 2009 – UNICEF officials worry that funding shortfalls may threaten the humanitarian assistance activities that are urgently needed for roughly 3.6 million people in Somalia, including for 1.4 million affected by severe drought and about 1.5 million displaced primarily by conflict.
Public-private partnerships bring sustainable, safe water to Somali communities
BERBERA, Somalia, 28 September 2009 – Until recently, a run-down urban water system dating from the 19th century delivered scant, low-quality water to the residents of Berbera, a coastal town in north-west Somalia. But that has changed recently.
Second round of Child Health Days aims to boost child survival in Somalia
GABILEY, Northwest Somalia, 3 September 2009 – Building on the success of the six-month-long Child Health Days initiative that began late last year, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have kicked off the second round of a campaign to reach every Somali community with a life-saving package of essential services for children and women.
UN report finds crisis in Somalia at its worst in two decades
NEW YORK, USA, 26 August 2009 – A new report confirms a stark picture of the situation facing children and families in Somalia, where UNICEF has been stymied in its efforts to slow a surge in malnutrition in parts of the country most affected by escalating violence.
UNICEF nutrition intervention in Somalia disrupted by looting
NEW YORK, USA, 13 August 2009 – UNICEF has been forced to delay delivery of crucial nutritional supplies after looters targeted the warehouse of a UNICEF partner in the lower Juba region.
Aid reaches some displaced families as fighting continues in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 July 2009 – As battles between government forces and armed groups continue to rock Mogadishu, more families are being driven out of their homes in search of safety every day. Over 200,000 of the city's residents have been displaced since a new round of intense fighting erupted at the beginning of May.
Occupation of UNICEF Somalia base hinders vital interventions
NEW YORK, USA, 24 June 2009 – The Somali militia group Al Shabaab is still occupying the UNICEF base in Jowhar town, nearly six weeks after taking it over on 17 May. Jowhar is UNICEF’s main hub for the southern and central regions of Somalia.
Life-saving nutrition interventions for vulnerable Somali children
EL-BERDE, Somalia, 24 June 2009 – From early in the morning, the outpatient therapeutic centre (OTP) in El-Berde is crowded with women and their children seeking its services. The OTP is set up inside the town’s maternal and child health centre to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition – a life-threatening condition.
UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell reports on the situation in Somalia
BOSSASO, Somalia, 22 May 2009 – Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent and current UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies, recently concluded a three-day trip to the north-east zone of Somalia to report on the situation of children and women affected by conflict, drought, displacement and other hardships – and to shed light on UNICEF’s efforts to provide them with crucial services.
Somali Child Health Days go nationwide for the first time
WAJID, Southern Somalia, 1 April 2009 – For the first time ever in Somalia, a Child Health Days campaign has been implemented nation-wide by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, local authorities, communities and non-governmental partners.
Safe water improves quality of life for families in Berbera, Somalia
BERBERA, Somalia, 23 March 2009 – Until recently, the coastal town of Berbera, north-west Somalia, suffered from insufficient and poor quality of water delivered through its rundown water-supply system.
Ready-to-use food distribution campaign for vulnerable children in Somalia
BOSSASO AND BERBERA, Somalia, 16 March 2009 – At Buulo Mingis camp for the internally displaced people, located in Bossaso, in the north-east zone of Somalia, children and their caregivers have gathered to receive rations of Plumpy’doz, the latest generation of a ready-to-use food to prevent malnutrition among vulnerable children.
UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes visits projects in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 4 March 2009 – UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Louis-Georges Arsenault has returned from a visit to Somalia, where he saw firsthand the situation of children and women, and efforts to provide them with life-saving aid and critical services.
Child Health Days brings vital treatments to rural Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia, 2 January 2009 – Ahmed Mahamoud says that he had been too busy to take his son to be vaccinated. His son Shafie, age six, is living with the consequences—he contracted measles during a recent outbreak in Northwest Somalia.
Global Handwashing Day: Children lead the way in Afghanistan, Somalia and Mozambique
NEW YORK, USA, 15 October 2008 – Millions of children in 70 countries around the world are marking the first-ever Global Handwashing Day with a simple act that will protect them from disease and save their lives.
Food interventions are crucial as Somalia faces ‘worst-case scenario’
BOSSASO, Somalia, 21 August 2008 – Malnutrition is the one of the biggest challenges facing Somali children today, and according to an upcoming UN report, it could be getting worse.
Somali villages invest in solar-powered pump, with high returns
HARAF VILLAGE, Somaliland, Somalia, 22 July 2008 – Water has long been a scarce resource in Somaliland, where a two- to five-hour daily walk to fetch household water is not uncommon. Collecting water has traditionally been the task of women and girls, who are therefore unable to attend school regularly.
UNICEF USA Ambassador Clay Aiken visits Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 2 July 2008 – During a five-day visit to the self-declared republic of Somaliland in north-west Somalia, UNICEF USA Ambassador Clay Aiken was moved by the work that UNICEF is doing under challenging circumstances.
Somalia takes part in ‘World’s Biggest Lesson’ for equality in education
NAIROBI, Kenya, 8 May 2008 – More than 7.5 million people from over 100 countries joined together to simultaneously express their feelings about the importance of education last month, as part of a unique event called the ‘World’s Biggest Lesson.’
Temporary schools bring a sense of normalcy to young Somalis displaced by conflict
ALONG THE AFGOYE ROAD, Somalia, 7 March 2008 – Saadia, 18, last saw her husband more than a month ago, before fighting in Mogadishu forced her to flee with her newborn baby to safety some 15 km outside the capital.
Centre offers help for chronic malnutrition in Somalia
JOWHAR, Somalia, 7 March 2008 - Following heavy fighting in Mogadishu, Mumino Hussein Nuur, 32, fled her home and came to the Kalagooye Camp for displaced people in Jowhar. She brought her three young children – Hussein, Fatuma and four-year-old Mohammed.
UNICEF seeks emergency support for Somalia’s undernourished children
HARGEISA, Somalia 15 February 2008 – They were noises Khadra Abdullahi knew all too well: first, the blast from a bomb; then the screams and the clanging of pots as she threw her family’s possessions into a bag and fled.
A polio survivor dedicates her life to helping children get vaccinated
HARGEISA, Somalia, 25 January 2007 – When she was seven-years-old, Nora woke up feeling as if she had a cold. By the following morning, she was plagued with crippling pain and unable to walk. Now, as an adult, Nora must live with the devastating effects of contracting polio.
Providing water and sanitation to families displaced by conflict in Somalia
AFGOYE, Somalia, 9 January 2007 – Every day, hundreds of families flee insecurity in Mogadishu and seek refuge in overcrowded camps along Somalia's Afgoye Corridor. Many come terrorized, exhausted and in urgent need of food, water and shelter – especially the children.
Child-survival campaign reaches families displaced by conflict in Mogadishu
AFGOYE, Somalia, 18 December 2007 – Hawa Ali, a mother of two, fled fighting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu last month and found refuge in the makeshift Eelasha Biyasha settlement here. This camp and others like it, along a 30-km stretch between Mogadishu and Afgoye, are now home to some 200,000 children, women and men displaced by conflict.
Protecting children’s rights where they are not enshrined by treaty
HARGEISA, Somalia, 29 November 2007 – The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) turned 18 last week – a momentous occasion for children all around the world. It was of particular interest to youths in Somalia, one of only two countries in the world that have not ratified the CRC.
Volunteer-staffed health centre helps save lives in Baidoa, Somalia
BAIDOA, Somalia, 2 October 2007 – It didn’t take long for Hawa to see that her frail, one-year-old son Saeed was not responding to traditional medicines. Her child was wasting away, his feet so bloated that they appeared they might burst. Hawa had to move quickly – her son was dying from severe malnutrition.
Mothers and children hit hard by nutrition crisis in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 13 September 2007 – Following a recent nutrition survey, UNICEF and its partners estimate that 83,000 children in central and southern Somalia suffer from malnutrition – 13,500 of whom are severely malnourished and at risk of dying.
UNICEF Somalia relief efforts hindered by lack of access to conflict-affected areas
NEW YORK, USA, 25 April 2007 – Somalia’s security situation has been in a steady decline since the beginning of 2007 – along with all the consequent health and protection issues for children and families.
UNICEF Representative in Somalia assesses impact of conflict on children and families
NEW YORK, USA, 12 January 2007 – Children in southern Somalia are suffering from recruitment and abduction into militias, displacement from their villages and other ill effects of an increase in violence and instability in the region.
Rebuilding schools and communities in tsunami-affected Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, December 2006 – Two years after the Indian Ocean tsunami hit the northeastern coastline of Somalia, life is beginning to return to normal.
Frontline diary: Lives uprooted by Somalia floods
ARARE CAMP, Somalia, 21 December 2006 – The broad picture of the torrential rains and floods in Somalia is grim enough – a huge expanse of some 100,000 productive hectares lies submerged after the Shabelle and Juba rivers burst their banks.
Somalia floods devastate communities
JOWHAR, Somalia, 6 December 2006 – Central and Southern Somalia have experienced widespread flooding that has affected over 300,000 people in recent weeks.
Floods bring havoc to Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya
DADAAB, Kenya, 4 December 2006 – It was early Saturday morning and Kusa Yunis Hassan, 23, a Somali refugee mother of two, emerged from her plastic shelter. Her son Mohammed, 3, was playing outside. There had been a deluge for the past two weeks.
Severe floods ravage eastern Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 14 November 2006 – Tens of thousands of people in eastern Africa have fled their homes, and many have died, as a result of heavy flooding in recent weeks. Somalia in particular has been severely affected, along with neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya.
Polio case in Kenya refugee camp raises fears and concerns
NEW YORK, USA, 26 October 2006 – As the escalating conflict in Somalia triggers an influx of refugees into neighbouring Kenya, a child living in a camp along the border has been diagnosed with polio. It is Kenya’s first reported case in 22 years.
Conflict over scarce resources in drought-stricken Somalia
BAKOOL REGION, Somalia, 6 June 2006 – In a country that is ungoverned and ungovernable, men with guns are as much a part of the Somali landscape as are the dusty roads.
The burden on children: Searching for scarce resources in drought-stricken Somalia
BAKOOL REGION, Somalia, 23 May 2006 – The families walk for days across the vast parched landscape of southern Somalia, children and goats in tow, following rumours of rain. Finally, rare showers bring them to a halt around fresh watering holes and they settle down. Just hours later, though, all that’s left are puddles of fetid water.
Despite recent rains, Somalia uniquely devastated by drought
NEW YORK, USA, 19 April 2006 – UNICEF’s Representative in Somalia, Christian Balslev-Olesen, was in New York earlier this month discussing and planning UNICEF’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.
Somalia afflicted by worst drought in decade
WAJID, Somalia, 8 February 2006 – Like thousands of others in Somalia, 26-year old Faduma Adow Bolis is dealing with the latest misfortune to beset her people. The country, challenged by years of inter-clan conflict and limited access to basic social services, now faces the worst drought in a decade.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman: Urgent action needed in drought-stricken Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 7 February 2006 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman is calling for immediate action in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa to keep children from dying.
UNICEF appeals for $16 million to fund emergency drought relief in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 3 February 2006 – UNICEF has launched an appeal for $16 million dollars to fund emergency aid in the Horn of Africa. More than 8 million people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti are affected by a worsening drought. With rain not due until April, UNICEF fears the situation will deteriorate even further.
For Somali children, every minute in school counts
BOSSASO, Somalia – On a hot, dusty morning in Askar Internally Displaced Persons camp, one of many settlements made of cartons and boxes in Somalia, a little girl flips a pancake on a traditional stove.
Somalia: Local community celebrates bigger, better school after tsunami
HAFUN, Somalia, December 2005 – Like an oasis, the new primary school in Hafun is a welcome sight amid the devastation still evident almost one year after the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Somalia: Recovery effort aims for better basic services than before tsunami
NEW YORK, 22 June 2005 – Reconstruction in the tsunami-affected Puntland region of north-eastern Somalia is well under way, thanks to a broad alliance involving UNICEF, other UN agencies, relief organizations and local partners.
In Hafun, a girl's dream comes true
HAFUN, Somalia, 7 April 2005 – Nine-year old Faduma Farah Aden always wanted to go to school but never thought she would have the chance. Like most of the girls in Hafun, a fishing village in northeast Somalia, she was resigned to spending her days looking after sheep and fetching firewood. However, that all changed the day the Indian Ocean tsunami struck the Somalia coastline.
Communities unite around education in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 7 April 2005 - In war-torn Somalia, where a devastating civil conflict has fractured families and ravaged national institutions, communities are finding common cause in the drive for education for all.
After the tsunami, better health care for Hafun
HAFUN, Somalia, 22 March 2005 - The devastation inflicted on the fishing village of Hafun, Somalia by the tsunami on 26 December 2004 has led to a development rebirth.
Post-tsunami school project galvanizes Hafun, Somalia
HAFUN, Somalia, 22 March 2005 - Before the tsunami of 26 December 2004, Hafun was a thriving fishing village off the coast of north-eastern Somalia, with a population of 5,000 and a quiet existence in an otherwise conflict-ridden country.
European Commission grant boosts education in Somalia
NAIROBI, 3 February 2005 – A new €4.5 million grant (over $5.8 million) from the European Commission will help ensure that 80,000 more Somali girls and boys will be able to go to school.
Tsunami highlights 'forgotten emergency' in Somalia
HAFUN, Somalia, 17 January 2005 - Located far out on the eastern edge of the Horn of Africa, where no proper roads exist and the airstrip is the desert, the remote Somali fishing village of Hafun hasn’t had so much attention in decades.
Children in remote fishing villages get help
HAFUN, Somalia, 11 January 2005 - Children in the fishing villages of Hafun, Gara’g, Bender Byla and Eyl on the north-eastern coastline of Somalia are suffering the aftermath of last month’s tsunami.
After the tsunami Somalia is the worst-hit country in Africa
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 5 January 2005 - UNICEF has mounted a rapid relief effort to aid the approximately 15,000 people who have been affected by flooding along the country’s coastline following last Sunday’s massive earthquake.
Relief supplies reach Somalia’s children
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 30 December 2004 – As countries in South Asia are dealing with the devastation caused by the surging tidal waves, Somalia - a coastal nation in Africa - is also suffering from the effects of the disaster.