Humanitarian Action for Children
The humanitarian situation in Somalia is rapidly deteriorating due to the severe drought that started in the north in 2016 and is now affecting most of the country. Over 6.2 million people are facing acute food insecurity2 and the number of people in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance will likely rise to 4.5 million by April 2017. Reduced access to clean drinking water contributes to malnutrition, and brings with it an increased risk of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera. More than 11,000 cases of AWD/cholera have already been reported across 12 southern regions and Puntland since the start of the year, five times more than from a similar period in 2016. The drought is also uprooting people, with 250,000 displaced since November 2016, adding to the 1.1 million already internally displaced.3 In addition, people are also crossing into Ethiopia and Kenya. The situation is especially grave for children. Close to 1 million children under five will be acutely malnourished in 2017, including 185,000 severely malnourished, which may increase to over 270,000 if famine is not averted.4 Malnourished children will also be particularly vulnerable to measles. Children are dropping out of school, with 30,000 reported so far, and are at risk of violence, especially when on the move.