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Somalia, 5 June 2017: Timely funding from Sweden helps tackle high rates of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera among children

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 5 June 2017 – UNICEF’s lifesaving work to support women and children caught in the Somalia drought emergency has received a boost from the Government of Sweden with a generous contribution of SEK 39 million (US$4.4 million).

A major part of the funding is allocated to the multi-sector response to the AWD/cholera outbreak, which has affected more than 40,000 people, most of them children. The funding will be used to set up and support cholera treatment centres and units, with facilities for safe water and handwashing; and to conduct social mobilization and awareness raising to prevent the spread of the disease.

“This is a generous contribution to our crucial work for children in Somalia,” said Steven Lauwerier, the UNICEF Representative for Somalia. “We have a small window of opportunity to save lives and avert a famine and this timely funding is helping us to reach many more children and their families. It was key that donors such as Sweden did not wait for a declaration of famine to act.”

Working with partners, UNICEF has expanded its WASH, nutrition and health services in drought affected areas through facility-based and mobile teams. Since the start of the year, UNICEF has treated more than 35,000 people suffering from acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera. Some 76,000 children suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition have been treated and 1.5 million people have had safe drinking water as a result.

The Swedish Ambassador, Mikael Lindvall, has travelled widely in Somalia and seen UNICEF and partners’ programmes in action – providing water to thousands of displaced people and treating those suffering from cholera or acute watery diarrhoea.

“Having been in the field several times and seen the terrible suffering of so many, especially those Somali families once again displaced by drought, I am very pleased to see Sweden’s funding really making a difference,” said Ambassador Lindvall. “It is clear that the situation will continue to be critical as animals die and diseases spread.”

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