© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Rich
Humanitarian Response to high burden of Acute Malnutrition
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia remains one of the largest and most complex protracted emergencies in the world. About three million people remain in need of life-saving and livelihoods support, with some 731,000 people unable to meet their basic food requirements. The high residual levels of acute malnutrition in Somalia are a critical risk factor to child survival and development. A focus on humanitarian nutritional support is still needed across Somalia, particularly Central South regions, where chronic vulnerabilities are heavily concentrated and acute malnutrition burden also remains significant.
Strengthening Integration of Basic Nutrition Services Package (BNSP) within Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS)
Nutrition services continued to be integrated into the health system especially in districts rolling out the Essential Package of Health Services programme (EPHS). EPHS is the framework for service delivery within the Somali Joint Health and Nutrition Programme (JHNP) which is a multi-donor, multi UN agency and multi health authority flagship development programme under the umbrella of the ‘Somali Compact’ and ‘New Deal initiative’ and at present with a share of about one-third of total public health sector investment. Nutrition works closely with the health programme to ensure effective integration of routine immunization into Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition/Out-Patient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) sites.
Increasing Coverage of Community-based Nutrition Resilience Programming
Lessons drawn from the 2011 famine showed that there is a need to adjust programme focus on activities which directly enhance the resilience of vulnerable households and communities, a concept now widely endorsed as a central objective of both development and humanitarian assistance. Building on these lessons learned from the famine response and in coordination with WASH and Health, the nutrition programme is strengthening and refining its community-based programming to enhance early response, increase demand for services, encourage positive nutrition and IYCF related behaviours, as well as expand the scope and coverage of prevention and promotion activities.
Addressing High Micronutrient Deficiencies
Iron-deficiency anaemia and vitamin A deficiency - are serious health issues facing the population. However there has been little progress in reducing micronutrient deficiencies in women and children. Considering the impact of iron deficiency anaemia on child mental and motor development and the impact of women’s anaemia on productivity and birth outcomes, efforts to address anaemia need to be accelerated. Micronutrient supplementation activities, prioritizing zinc for diarrhoea, multiple micronutrients for women and iron for under 2 year olds should be scaled up.