Humanitarian Action for Children 2012


© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1194/Holt

An armed soldier stands near a displaced girl and her younger brother in war-ravaged Mogadishu. Two decades of conflict, compounded by severe drought, have left fully 30 per cent of all children under age 5 acutely malnourished.

Update: CAP Mid-Year Review

Children and Women in Crisis

The conflict and insecurity that have defined Somalia throughout the past two decades are now compounded by the damaging effects of the worst famine the country has seen in 17 years. Four million people, including 2 million children, are in need of immediate food security and livelihood assistance.1 Three million of these people live in the al-Shabab-controlled south, where humanitarian access is limited due to the high level of insecurity.

Rates of acute malnutrition illustrate an almost unimaginable situation: 30 per cent of children under 5 are acutely malnourished, with nearly three quarters of them living in the south.2 As the crisis worsens, acute watery diarrhoea and cholera are spreading due to lack of safe water and sanitation. During the first two weeks of October, there were more than 906 suspected measles cases (including 711 of children under 5) and 20 related deaths reported in South and Central Somalia, as well as 1,206 suspected malaria cases, including 706 cases under 5 and 6 related deaths.3 Children’s education has been disrupted and human rights violations are escalating mainly due to the combination of displacement and conflict.

Meeting Urgent Needs in 2012

UNICEF is scaling up its response in 2012 in coordination with local authorities and more than 100 national and international partner organizations, while leading the education, nutrition and WASH clusters and the child protection sub-cluster.

Humanitarian Funding at Work: Highlights from 2011

As of end October 2011, UNICEF had received US$247,402,422, representing 86 per cent of the requested amount of US$287,438,693 for its operations in 2011. This funding enabled UNICEF to treat more than 111,000 severely malnourished children (out of a planned goal of 155,000), as well as reach more than 85,000 households (against a goal of 200,000) with monthly food rations through blanket supplementary feeding. About 1.4 million people, including about 440,000 children under 5, have access to 400 health facilities. Close to 1.5 million of the yearly plan of 2.9 million children 6 months to 15 years old have been vaccinated against measles since January. Chlorination, water trucking and construction or rehabilitation of water sources benefited about 1.5 million people. About 13,000 households have received a cash grant or food voucher. More than 368,000 children have enrolled in some 1,600 UNICEF-supported schools in the south, including both schools for internally displaced persons and community schools. More than 31,000 children have benefited from the establishment of 325 of the 353 planned child-friendly spaces in camps for internally displaced persons, transit points, and host communities in famine-affected regions.

Funding Requirements for 2012

In line with the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements, UNICEF is requesting US$289,134,000 to provide urgently needed basic services to the children and women of Somalia. In the absence of a fully functional government, UNICEF and its partners are primary providers of basic services, and children are at serious risk of hunger and disease if such services are unavailable. Lack of funding will mean that health centres are likely to experience drug shortages, and many schools will not be able to function. Children will be subject to increasing risks if UNICEF is unable to respond to the increased humanitarian needs at the necessary scale.

More information on humanitarian action planned for 2012 can be found at and the country office website at

1 Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia, ‘Nutrition Analysis Post Gu 2011 – Technical Series Report no. VI, vol. 42’, United Nations Somalia, Nairobi, 8 October 2011, p.1.
2 Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia, ‘Nutrition Analysis Post Gu 2011, Technical Series Report no VI, vol. 41’, United Nations Somalia, Nairobi, 28 September 2011, p. 9.
3 World Health Organization, ‘Somalia Emergency Health Update – Weekly Highlights 15–21 October 2011’, WHO, Geneva, p. 3.