Priority issues

UNICEF in Action



UNICEF in Action

UNICEF Somalia/2015/Rich
© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Rich

The essential elements of the package include the management of acute malnutrition, micronutrient support, infant and young child feeding, maternal nutrition, deworming, promotion of appropriate food fortification, monitoring and surveillance, and the prevention and management of common childhood illnesses, as well as immunization.

Supply Side

The nutrition programme focuses on increasing the availability and range of services at the facility level. Integration of nutrition services into the health system continued to be supported especially in districts rolling out the Essential Package of Health Services programme. Improved availability of Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) was ensured in seven out of the nine target regions with better access to services enabled for a target catchment population of 4.2 million.

To address the high levels of micronutrient deficiencies in young children in the country, UNICEF in partnership with Population Services International (PSI) expanded its social marketing programme efforts in Somaliland for diarrhoea treatment kits (DTKs) (ORS and Zinc) and micronutrient powders (Super Fariid) through fast moving consumer goods channels which include private pharmacies as well as through community health promoters. Public distribution of micronutrient powders through community level channels has also been initiated in 12 EPHS districts in Benadir region. UNICEF has continued to support supplementation of pregnant and lactating mothers with multiple micronutrients through the health system.

Demand Side

Over the last 20 years nutrition programming in Somalia has tended to prioritize the integrated management of acute malnutrition (IMAM) while significant efforts have been made more recently to ensure equal attention on preventative interventions especially infant and young child feeding. Within the framework of the joint UNICEF, WFP and FAO resilience strategy, the UNICEF supported nutrition programme has been expanding its efforts to provide integrated community based nutrition, health and WASH services with the aim of increasing demand for services and to allow for a more holistic approach to management of nutritional deprivations.

Interpersonal and group counselling for improved IYCF practices has been rolled out across the country and an integrated programme for the promotion of nutrition and hygiene is being implemented across nutrition centres in the country.


UNICEF supported the development of a web based mNutrition Dashboard information management platform and bottleneck analysis system for the nutrition sector based on four quality improvement domains: Supply, Demand, Quality and Enabling Environment.

Enabling Environment

UNICEF has supported the development of various strategies including the National Nutrition Strategy, IYCF Strategy, Micronutrient Strategy and Costed Nutrition Plans of Action. The key strategic documents have been endorsed by health authorities and stakeholders and the Health Advisory Board. Key nutrition strategic actions have also been integrated into the Health Sector Strategic Plans (HSSP). The Federal Government joined the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in 2014 and UNICEF has been supporting Government’s advocacy efforts, setting up of a SUN inter-ministerial committees and active participation of government representatives in various regional and global SUN initiatives.

Joint Health and Nutrition Programme
The Somali Joint Health and Nutrition Programme (JHNP 2012-16) is a comprehensive multi-donor, multi-partner five year development programme aimed towards helping Somalia meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) commitments on Maternal and Child health.



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