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Somalia, 2 June 2017: UNICEF’s drought response boosted with GBP £20 million from UK

NAIROBI/MOGADISHU, 2 June 2017 – The generous contribution of GBP £20 million from the United Kingdom has made a significant impact on the lives of Somali women and children caught in the prolonged drought, UNICEF said today.

Since the beginning of this year, through UNICEF’s relief efforts, more than 76,000 children have been treated for life-threatening severe acute malnutrition; 556,000 women and children received emergency health services; and 1.5 million people had temporary access to safe drinking water. The UKaid funding has contributed greatly to these results.

However more than half of the country’s population – 6.7 million – are still trapped in the crisis and need humanitarian assistance, including 4 million children. A combination of severe food insecurity, high malnutrition and widespread disease means the threat of famine continues to loom large.

Since November 2016, nearly 700,000 people have been uprooted by the drought. Most of them have flooded into displacement camps in and around urban centres in the hope of finding food, water and aid. The overcrowded living conditions, coupled with a lack of clean water and sanitary facilities has fueled outbreaks of diarrhoea, cholera and recently measles. Over 40,000 people have been affected by the acute watery diarrhoea/cholera outbreak and over 8,000 by measles, the majority of them children.

The UKaid funding, which started in March, has also helped UNICEF vaccinate 356,000 children against measles, an intervention critical to contain the spread of the disease. Moreover, the funding has enabled UNICEF to cover 60,000 households under a cash transfer scheme using the SCOPE biometric registration system developed by WFP.

“UKaid was one of the first donors to sound the alarm over the worsening humanitarian situation,” says Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Representative for Somalia. “Because of this, we were able to step up our emergency operations early on. Tens of thousands of Somali children’s lives have been saved because of it. However, even with the arrival of the rains, the situation remains grave. UNICEF is counting on all of our donors and partners to support us in addressing the mounting needs of Somali women and children.”

To date, UNICEF is 40 per cent un-funded. US$55 million is still required for UNICEF to carry out its work for the remaining of the year.


About UNICEF Somalia
UNICEF has been working in Somalia since 1972 when its first office opened in Mogadishu. Today UNICEF has over 300 staff working in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Garowe, Hargeisa and also Nairobi. Together with 200 international and national NGOs and community-based organizations, UNICEF delivers services in Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education and Child Protection, and responds to emergencies and supports peacebuilding and development.

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For more information, please contact:
Susannah Price, UNICEF Somalia, +254 722 719867,



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