USAID provides $20 million to combat COVID-19 and strengthen emergency services

New funding brings USAID support to $34.7 million in 2021

17 August 2021
UNICEF Somalia/2020/Taxta

Mogadishu, Somalia, 17 August 2021 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) renewed its unwavering commitment to enhance the protection, health, and wellbeing of the most vulnerable children in Somalia by contributing an additional $20 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

This new contribution brings USAID’s funding to UNICEF Somalia to a total of $34.7 million for 2021. It will play an integral role in supporting the organization and its partners to boost local capacity and reinforce the resilience of communities and systems in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises facing the country.

“USAID’s support for children in Somalia has never been more critical,” said U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Colleen Crenwelge. “This new funding not only will help curb the effects of the pandemic, but also will strengthen emergency child protection, health, and nutrition services, as well as the provision of clean water and good sanitation.”

The humanitarian crisis in Somalia has escalated due to recurring climate shocks, protracted conflict, the impact of COVID-19 and other deadly diseases, and the worst desert locust infestation in years. This has compounded vulnerabilities and protection challenges in a context where decades of conflict have displaced close to 3 million people and nearly 5.9 million people require humanitarian assistance.

The risk of a large outbreak of COVID-19 in conflict-stricken areas, where access to the population is challenging and social service provision is limited, persists and could add immeasurably to the suffering of the most vulnerable people in Somalia.

"Children are less likely to get sick from the virus, but we must act now so they do not become the hidden victims, bearing the brunt of the long-term impacts of this crisis,” said UNICEF Somalia Representative Mohamed Ayoya.” With this generous contribution from USAID, we can continue our work to ensure girls and boys have access to life-saving services that will give them an opportunity to prosper and have a brighter future."

The new funding enables UNICEF and its partners to reach more than 1 million people with COVID-19 prevention messaging; 484,000 people with health services; 83,000 children with treatment for severe acute malnutrition; and 300,000 people with emergency and sustained water, hygiene, and sanitation services.

Media contacts

Eva Hinds
Communication Manager
UNICEF Somalia


USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help nations progress beyond assistance. For more information about USAID and its work, visit:


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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