Map of Somalia
UNICEF photo: A girl looks up at the camera © UNICEF Somalia/2015/Rich Girl attends class at the temporary learning centre in Gadid IDP camp in southern Somalia.


In 2016, UNICEF and partners plan for:
2.3 million

people in high-risk areas accessed basic health services


unaccompanied and separated children provided with access to basic services


labour-constrained households receive predictable monthly cash transfers

2016 Requirements: US$82,268,287

x Donate Now
Please confirm your country and we will take you to the right donation page:


Total affected population: 4.9 million
Total affected children: 2 million

Total people to be reached in 2016: 3.6 million
Total children to be reached in 2016: 1.5 million

Somalia ranks extremely low across a range of human development indicators, as well as humanitarian and development indexes.1 One out of every 18 women dies during childbirth;2 about 1.7 million children are out of school;3 one in every seven children under 5 years is acutely malnourished; and 44,000 children are severely malnourished. The prevalence of wasting and stunting in Somalia is among the highest in the region and in the world.4 In addition, more than 1 million people remain displaced5 and 973,0006 Somalis are refugees in neighbouring countries due to conflict and insecurity. Military operations launched in July 2015 triggered new displacements in parts of central and southern Somalia and the internally displaced are further affected by forced evictions. The El Niño weather phenomenon may contribute to worsening floods in Puntland and the southern and central regions, and may exacerbate drought conditions in Somaliland. The influx of returnees and refugees fleeing the conflict in Yemen is increasing the burden on already limited basic services. An estimated 29,310 people fled to Somalia from Yemen between March 2015, when the conflict began, and the end of September 2015.7

Humanitarian strategy

2016 Programme Targets


  • 110,000 children under 5 years suffering from SAM admitted to therapeutic treatment programmes


  • 2.3 million people in high-risk areas accessed basic health services
  • 445,000 children under 1 year immunized against measles


  • 642,000 people provided with safe water (7.5-15 litres per person per day)
  • 200,000 people in emergency situations have access to gender-sensitive sanitation facilities equipped with hand washing facilities

Child protection

  • 1,500 unaccompanied and separated children provided with access to basic services


  • 50,000 school-aged children, including adolescents, accessed quality education (including through temporary structures)

Social protection

  • 16,000 labour-constrained households received predictable monthly cash transfers

In Somalia, UNICEF is working to prevent mortality and morbidity, increase access to services and promote community resilience. Polio eradication remains a top priority and despite the interruption of polio transmission for more than a year, UNICEF is working to ensure a regional polio-free certification in two years time. As part of the ongoing response to the May 2014 measles outbreak, UNICEF is implementing emergency vaccination campaigns across Somalia in conjunction with polio immunization activities. In the area of nutrition, UNICEF will provide a package of curative, preventive and promotion-oriented nutrition interventions, and will strengthen the implementation capacity of the Government, partners and communities. Life-saving and resilience initiatives will be promoted by increasing access to safe water; supporting emergency sanitation; extending community-led total sanitation approaches to flood, drought and disease-prone areas; and maintaining immediate response capacity through 10 supply hubs across the Central South Zone. UNICEF will facilitate the disengagement and reintegration of children associated with armed groups, monitoring and reporting on grave violations, and prevention and response to gender-based violence. UNICEF is also working to improve access to and capacity for quality emergency education. Since the African Union Mission in Somalia offensives in March 2014, UNICEF has continued to provide a package of basic life-saving interventions in newly accessible areas. UNICEF will also continue to utilize Communication for Development as a cross-cutting approach to achieve programme results in all sectors.

Results from 2015

As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 46 per cent (US$51.4 million) of the US$111.7 million 2015 appeal, in addition to US$46.8 million carried forward from 2014. In 2015, UNICEF admitted 79,523 children under 5 years with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) into therapeutic treatment programmes, supported 328,514 children under 5 years to access essential health services, and enabled 79,376 pregnant women to attend antenatal visits. Some 10,200 vulnerable people received cash transfers, enabling them to meet critical basic needs. In 2015, UNICEF supported efforts to identify, trace and reunify 666 separated and unaccompanied children, and assisted 8,937 children and women survivors of physical and sexual violence and 769 children formerly associated with armed forces and groups with quality essential services. Some 22,455 children and adolescents in temporary learning spaces received education support and 1,106 members of community education committees were trained to provide effective school management. The UNICEF resilience programme worked to build the capacity of local communities to address health concerns and protect and educate their children. Although the urgent needs of women and children continued to increase, overall programme implementation was challenged by limited humanitarian access and severe funding gaps.

Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$82 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Somalia in 2016. This includes US$1 million for emergency support and cluster coordination. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s continuing nutrition crisis, as well as critical WASH, health and protection services. Basic supplies for primary education are also urgently needed to uphold children’s right to education. This funding will facilitate the continuity of basic services for the most vulnerable and will contribute to building resilience in the face of future shocks.

1 Somalia ranks 165 out of 170 countries on the Human Development Index (United Nations Development Programme, 2012).
2 United Nations Population Fund Somalia, ‘Ensuring NO woman dies giving birth in a humanitarian situation’, UNFPA Somalia, 2015,, accessed 6 December 2015.
3 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2015 Humanitarian Needs Overview Somalia’, OCHA, November 2014,, accessed 6 December 2015.
4 Ibid.
5 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘Somalia: 2015 UNHCR country operations profile – Somalia’, UNHCR, 2015,, accessed 6 December 2015.
6 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘Refugees in the Horn of Africa: Somali Displacement Crisis’, UNHCR, 2015,, accessed 6 December 2015.
7 United Nations Children’s Fund, ‘UNICEF Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report 9, September 2015’, Reliefweb, 30 September 2015,, accessed 6 December 2015.