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Press centre

Press release

Somalis need continuing support to withstand future shocks

Nairobi, 13 May 2012 - UNICEF remains extremely concerned about the large number of Somalis in crisis including 325,000 acutely malnourished children. The recovery from last year’s drought and famine is very fragile and the population remains vulnerable to any future shocks such as poor rains or outbreaks of diseases.

“Despite the challenges, generous support from our donors has allowed us to treat over 126,000 malnourished children so far  this year as well as providing vaccinations, clean water and blanket supplementary feeding among our many other activities,” said UNICEF Somalia Country Representative, Sikander Khan.

The National Saudi Campaign for Somali People Relief has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide UNICEF Somalia with $2,070,450 for a Therapeutic Food Program for Children with malnutrition. The Program is expected to include the treatment of 25,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition as part of a wider programme which also covers immunizations, treatment at mother and child healthcare centres, provision of drinking water, schools for IDP children and other services across Somalia.

“We are most grateful to the Government and the people of Saudi Arabia for this new funding which comes at a critical juncture,” said Mr. Khan. “It will help us to continue our critical work providing life-saving assistance and responding to the needs of women and children.”

He added that at the same time UNICEF is working to ensure sustainable progress by moving towards investing in medium and longer term interventions. This new approach will build resilience at a household and community levels and will include increasing the access and demand of individuals to basic services including health, nutrition and education.

“This new approach is most timely and we hope it will enable families and communities to withstand future shocks, and at the same time improve the future day to day lives of the Somali people,” he said.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For more information, please contact:

Susannah Price UNICEF Nairobi,
Tel: +254722719867, sprice@unicef.org




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