Somalia has some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Young children suffer repeated illness, especially diarrhoea, and have poor feeding and home management practices. Children and women have poor access to quality food as a result of conflict, displacement drought, flooding.
Nationwide some 236,000 children under the age of five are malnourished (September 2012), more than two thirds of them in the south where conflict and restricted humanitarian access combine to create some of the highest child mortality rates anywhere.
Somali infant and young child feeding (IYCF) indicators are among the worst in the world and these poor practices contribute to high morbidity, mortality and poor development amongst young children. Changes in IYCF knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours require a planned, coordinated, and comprehensive approach by all partners.
Survey data suggests that even in years of improved food production and relative stability, rates of acute and chronic malnutrition remain high in certain regions, indicating that other underlying causes play a significant role.