Japan supports vulnerable children and their families in Somalia affected by humanitarian crises

22 February 2024
Nasro Adan with her son.
UNICEF Somalia

Mogadishu, 22 February 2024 – The Government of Japan has made a combined contribution of US$3.1 million to UNICEF to assist children and their families impacted by humanitarian crises.

About US$2.1 million of the contribution will provide integrated support to 100,000 people in Banadir, Baidoa, and Buurhakaba districts, which are heavily impacted by droughts and floods. The second grant of US$1 million is earmarked for Buloburte, Jalalaqsi and Kismayo districts where 40,000 individuals affected by the recent floods will receive critical emergency WASH and health services over a period of six months.

“It is important to mitigate the impact of the recent severe droughts and floods and to consider how to adapt to climate change in the future,” said Japanese Ambassador to Somalia His Excellency Ken Okaniwa. “We hope this grant will support the children and their families who have been affected by the natural disaster and are in dire need of immediate humanitarian assistance. We also hope this grant will help build their resilience to climate change.”

UNICEF Representative Wafaa Saeed said the contribution comes at a critical time when families were struggling to cope with the impact of the floods.

“Although they have subsided, the floods have left a long-lasting impact on the lives and livelihoods of children and their families. We welcome this contribution from the Government of Japan, which is forged in our shared commitment to alleviating suffering and restoring the dignity of vulnerable families. We look forward to this partnership and to working with the Government of Somalia and our local and district-level partners to deliver these desperately needed services to disadvantaged communities.”

According to the Somalia Disaster Management Agency, approximately 2.5 million people were affected by the recent El Nino floods, 1.5 million of them children. Some 1.2 million people were displaced from their homes and are vulnerable to diseases like diarrhoea, malaria and Dengue Fever. These families have been displaced to areas lacking basic services, children have had their education disrupted, and women and children face significant protection risks, such as Gender-Based Violence.

In Banadir, Baidoa, and Buurhakaba districts, UNICEF, through its partners and in coordination with the government, will provide emergency water and sanitation facilities to 90,000 people, widen access to formal and non-formal education for an estimated 4,500 children, and provide mental health, psychosocial support, and case management services to 11,000 individuals, mainly vulnerable children. The communities will be sensitized on disease prevention through house-to-house campaigns and community meetings.

UNICEF will work with partners in Buloburte, Jalalaqsi and Kismayo districts to support household water treatment, emergency disinfection and chlorination of contaminated water sources and procure and distribute hygiene kits, including menstrual hygiene management pads alongside undertaking hygiene promotion. A total of 300 shared family, gender-segregated, emergency sanitation facilities will be constructed. Some 22,000 people will receive lifesaving primary healthcare through mobile teams, cholera treatment centers, and Oral Rehydration Points.

Media contacts

Victor Chinyama
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Somalia
Tel: +252613375885

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

UNICEF has been working in Somalia since 1972 when its first office opened in Mogadishu. Today UNICEF has over 300 staff working in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Dollow, Garowe, Hargeisa and also Nairobi, Kenya. Together with 200 international and national NGOs and community-based organizations, UNICEF delivers services in Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education and Child Protection, and responds to emergencies and supports peace-building and development.

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