Reaching every child in emergencies
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia is one of the most longstanding emergencies in the world. Conflict, insecurity, drought, floods and famine have defined Somalia throughout more than two decades now.
The insecurity threatens access to food, shelter, social support and health care, and results in increased vulnerability in communities, especially for children. It threatens children’s mental health, their sense of security – a fundamental part of childhood – and their long-term well-being. They become vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse, while their future prospects are disrupted by the loss of education, health care and economic opportunities.
The repeated climatic shocks have similarly forced Somalis from their homes. The people living in chronically deprived and conflict-ridden communities are vulnerable even to minor shocks. As these shocks occur more frequently with a bigger impact, they have shattering effects on the communities.
Displacement and the challenging process of reintegration generates new demands for services, infrastructure and livelihood for the displaced and the host communities. The persistent insecurity also hampers access to some of the affected people, mostly women and children.
The situation in numbers in 2020
- People requiring humanitarian assistance: 5.2 million
- Newly displaced persons: 1.4 million
- Children requiring humanitarian assistance: 3.4 million
- Children at risk of severe acute malnutrition: 178,000
- People facing higher risk of food insecurity: 6.3 million
- People in need of water, sanitation and hygiene services: 2.7 million
- People in need of health services: 3.3 million
UNICEF is on the ground before, during, and after emergencies, working to reach children and families with lifesaving aid and long-term assistance.
We work closely with local authorities and partners to determine and meet the most urgent needs of children and their families. We dispatch emergency supplies and deliver life-saving services through partners on the ground, providing Somali children affected by emergencies with access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services. We also support work to build communities’ resilience to cope with droughts, floods and other future shocks.
UNICEF is the lead agency for the national Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Education and Child Protection clusters – essential coordination mechanisms in emergencies – to help partners effectively plan, respond, and recover from emergencies.