News Note: Japan supports basic service delivery for children in Somalia
Mogadishu, 13 March 2013 – The Japanese Government has contributed USD 15 million to help UNICEF address a wide range of urgent needs for children in Somalia. The grant will support nutrition, food security, health, education, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene efforts for the most vulnerable children.
The funds will provide text books for 300,000 children - half of which are girls. It will allow 500,000 women and children to access health services and 60,000 severely malnourished children will receive therapeutic feeding.
In addition three rounds of monthly cash or food voucher transfers of about USD100 will be provided to 5,200 of the most vulnerable households for whom high prices represent the main and overriding barrier to access food.
Part of the funding will be used to construct and rehabilitate water sources which will benefit more than 50,000 women and children. Sanitation and hygiene awareness will also be conducted in the communities in order to prevent related diseases.
This contribution will also enable UNICEF to strengthen its response to grave violations against children through a set of core interventions that include psychosocial care and support, as well as community mobilization on issues such as Gender Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and Identification Documentation Tracing and Reunification.
Children in Somalia continue to face combined risks posed by conflict, displacement, malnutrition and disease. It is estimated that 215,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, 66% of them in the south.
Somalia’s infant mortality rates are among the worst in the world. One out of every 10 children dies before his or her first birthday.
Many children in Somalia miss out on schooling altogether. Despite major improvements in overall school enrolment over the last eight years, only 710,860 children out of an estimated 1.7 million projection of primary school age children – 42 per cent of children - are in school. Of those only, 36 per cent are girls.
Only 33% of the overall population has access to safe water and only 20% in the worst affected areas of the south.
This generous contribution by the Government of Japan goes a long way in addressing the most urgent needs and help set the foundation to accelerate the progress that is being made for children in the country.
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