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Emergency response

On this page you will find links to stories related to UNICEF's Emergency response in Somalia. Click below to read. 

UNICEF and WFP Representatives see joint assistance for Somalis suffering effects of drought
23 February 2017 - Two years of failed rains in Puntland have led to a drought affecting one million people particularly pastoralists who rely on water for their livestock.

AWD/Cholera awareness raising among children
22 February 2017 - An outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea/Cholera has affected more than 4000 people, mostly children, in Somalia since the start of the year.

Little Munasar suffers as his family move to escape the drought
17 February 2017- As our plane approached the gravel landing strip in Beletweyene, in central Somalia, I could see dried up river beds, shrivelled shrubs and parched land. And all too soon we saw the terrible effect the drought is having on children here.

Sharp increase in number of people suffering from Acute Watery Diarrhoea in Southern Somalia
30 January 2017: Hundreds of people, mainly women and children, suffering from Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) have been treated in hospitals and health centres in central and southern Somalia.

Drought forces parents to choose which children to feed as they flee their village
24 January 2017 - The drought in southern Somalia is having a devastating effect on families as I saw for myself in the border town of Dollow where large numbers are arriving in the camps for the displaced or crossing into refugee camps in Ethiopia.

In time of drought, Somali families forced to separate to stay alive
8 December 2016 – Sitting in front of her new home – a hut put up with dried branches and covered with rugs - Khadija Muuse, 70, sings about a family forced to be apart.

Severe drought kills animals and forces Somali families to flee
December, 2016 - Seventy-eight year old Mohammed Idle wearily gets down from a truck that brought him and his 16 emaciated cattle over 500 kilometres west from his home district in search of water. But it was too late for some of his animals.

Family forced to flee their home by drought ends up in a crowded camp
December 2016 - Asha Adan and her family depended on their flock of sheep and goats for survival until the prolonged drought in Somaliland killed most of them. As a desperate measure,

UNICEF partners provide grieving family with support
7 December 2016 - Kowar and her three children will never forget the evening when Al Shabaab fighters who controlled their village knocked on the door. After they took her husband outside and killed him, Kowar suffered a breakdown.

Continued fighting forces a Somali mother to walk 24 kilometres a day with her children to find work
14 November 2016 - An upsurge in fighting in central Somalia has forced more than 90,000 people to flee their homes and take refuge in nearby towns and villages.

UNICEF health centre in Puntland sees spike in malnourished children due to drought
9 November 2016 - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, visited the UNICEF-supported Gambol Health Centre in Garowe, Puntland today where he met Puntland's Minister of Health, Dr. Abdinasir Osman Isse.

UNICEF joins mission to see life in a town under siege
September 2016 - UNICEF joined a joint mission with the WFP and representatives from the regional government (the Interim South West Administration) to the town of Dinsor region to investigate conditions over a year after the military left.

Children living in camps for those forced to flee their homes suffer from life threatening malnutrition
20 October 2016: Mohamed Aden Haji Omar, does not stop crying as he is carefully weighed at a Health Centre at Hamar Jabjab district, south Mogadishu. He is severely malnourished and has medical complications.

UNICEF saves the lives of 50,000 children this year thanks to EU humanitarian funding and other partners
October 2016 – Seven month old Abdirahmani Ahmed Ali crawls past the queue at the health centre at full speed with his teenage mother, Fowsiya proudly following after him behind.

A shallow well brings health and happiness to thousands of displaced people Mogadishu
October 2016 - Life at the makeshift Sadaraha camp in Mogadishu for those forced to flee fighting and drought in their home areas is always a struggle. But when the only pump at the well broke down - it had a devastating effect on the 800 families.

How emptying latrines in Mogadishu camps saves lives
20 October 2016 - The 4,000 residents of a makeshift camp in Mogadishu faced a threat to their lives and health they could do nothing about. There was no space in the camp to build any new latrines and the existing ones were overflowing.

Failed rains, prolong drought pushes Somali communities to the brink
29 April 2016 - The rains have failed Hawa Ali, a pastoralist from Ethiopia, over and over again for three years straight. Before all her animals succumbed to thirst, hunger and disease, she made the decision to join other families and trek to Somaliland.

UNICEF Somalia staff pay a united tribute on the one year anniversary of the deadly Garowe attack
20 April 2016 - The staff from UNICEF Somalia came together to commemorate a day of mourning, a year after the devastating suicide attack in Garowe, Puntland, north eastern Somalia in which four colleagues died and five others were wounded.

A message from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake
20 April 2016 - One year ago, the UNICEF family - all of us - suffered a terrible, immeasurable loss. Payenda Gul Abed. Brenda Kyeyune. Woki Munyui. and Stephen Oduor . were cruelly taken from us. Four colleagues. Four friends. Four heroes.

Malnutrition rates among children in IDP camps have complex causes
April 2016 - Teenager Sabri had no time to enjoy her childhood – and now, at the age of just sixteen she is a single mother. She has lived nearly all her life in a camp for the internally displaced in Garowe, northern Somalia.

Drought leave students without schools in Puntland
February 2016 – Ubah Farah Abdirahman, 15, bustles around her family’s small tea shop in the village of Yibayil, in Somalia’s Puntland region. Although she is not currently in school, Ubah dreams of completing her education.

Drought in northern Somalia forces families to travel long distances in search of water
March 2016: Halima’s family have been on the move desperate to find water as the drought in Puntland gets worse. In October Halima Elmi, her husband and eight children left their home area of Karkar because the October – December rains had failed.

Early warning means quick response to El Nino rains in Somalia
December 2015 - Khadijo Amburre Nurre never imagined the day would come when she would have to sleep in a tiny tent with her five children. Silently, she sits cooking outside her patched up makeshift tent in the crowded backstreets of Mogadishu.

Visiting Somalia’s displaced families – where the children suffer the most
December 2015 - With so much the world focused on war, terrorism and the plight of a seemingly endless stream of refugees, it is no surprise that Somalia has been forgotten.

$60 a month transforms the lives of a desperate family
3 November 2015 - Last year 75-year-old Mohamed Hassan Dhoore, was in despair about how he would support his family after he became disabled due to a stroke and high blood pressure.

Children in Armed Conflict – stories of trauma and rehabilitation
14 July 2015 - Khadra was at a loss when her 14-year old nephew Bashir disappeared one day. As the family searched tirelessly for the boy, Khadra was inconsolable.

Published article: After Somalia's famine, hunger persists
1 May 2015 - At a hospital in Mogadishu's Yaqshid district, children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, worsened by stomach and chest infections, are receiving treatment that is likely saving their young lives.

A sachet of micronutrient powder a day boosts Somali children’s health and development
March 2015: Hasha Abdi Abdullahi was desperate. She was living in a makeshift camp for the displaced in Hargeisa with her seven children after being forced to leave her home, 50 kilometres away, because of drought.

UNICEF uses emergency airlifts to save the lives of children in areas unreachable by road
15 September 2014 - Amid a changing security situation in Somalia, UNICEF and other UN agencies are using all means possible to bring life-saving supplies to families cut off from the outside world for months or years.

UN agencies overcome hurdles to visit remote Somalia to investigate polio outbreak
August 2014 - UN agencies in Somalia combined forces once again to help a joint UNICEF and WHO team to visit a remote district of Puntland in north east Somalia where four people have contracted polio this year.

Toddler in northern Somalia is paralysed by polio – one of four new cases this year
16 July 2014 –Two and half year old Asha Mohamed sits in her mother’s lap, playfully hiding her face behind her hands. She used to follow her mother, Anod Abdi Hassan, all round the house until she contracted polio earlier this year.

In Somaliland, volunteer vaccinators help contain the threat of polio
18 December 2013 – In May 2013, the first case of polio seen in Somalia in more than six years was announced in Mogadishu. Plans for mass vaccination campaigns were drawn up.

A major campaign to stop the spread of polio
14 August 2013 – The mother of 3-year-old Mohamed Seef Naasir never realized the importance of vaccinating her children against polio until it was too late. The family lives hand-to -mouth in a makeshift shelter in a camp in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Increasing numbers of children paralysed by polio in Somalia
9 July 2013 - Since the first tragic case of polio in Somalia for six years was discovered in the capital Mogadishu, nearly 50 children have suffered paralysis as a result of the virus. And that number is expected to rise.

Polio outbreak Response in Mogadishu
July 2013 - In May the first Polio outbreak in Somalia for 6 years was announced in Mogadishu. When it was found that two year old Najmo from Mogadishu had the wild polio virus, the Government, launched an emergency vaccination campaign.

Strengthening Resilience in Somalia
December 2012 - In 2012, a good harvest and the hard work of UN agencies and NGOs lifted Somalia out of famine. This was made possible by the generous contributions of donors.

Months after famine conditions have ended, health centres across southern Somalia help children suffering from malnutrition
13 November 2012 – Ten-month-old Ifrah Mohamed Abdi was born as the first famine declared in more than 20 years in Africa held its grip on the village in which her family has lived for generations.

Aid trickles into Somalia's drought hit Baidoa region as militant group Al-Shabaab moves out
3 August 2012 - Until just three weeks ago, Nuriya Moallim and her family of nine children and grandchildren had managed to stay in their village in southern Somalia. Despite the failed rains and the drought of 2011, they persevered.

Field Diary: Recovering from a brush with death in Somalia
25 July 2012 – In September 2011, two months after famine was officially declared in the Horn of Africa by the United Nations, I was in the southern region of Somalia – the hardest-hit area.

Field Diary: A mourning mother in Mogadishu
23 July 2012 – At 50 years old, Kaltuumo Abdi Ibrahim left her life behind. She came to the capital from Dahar Village, where she had been an agro-pastoral farmer, after the drought killed her animals and crops.

One year after the declaration of famine, Somalia sees signs of progress
UNICEF correspondent Susannah Price reports on signs of progress seen in Somalia as UNICEF Emergency Specialist Maulid Warfa visits schools, a refugee camp and a medical centre.

One year after Somalia's famine, a story of recovery
UNICEF correspondent Susannah Price reports on the recovery of Ismail Mohamed in Mogadishu, one year after the declaration of famine in parts of Somalia.

The multiplier effect: How simple repairs to a water pump brought life back to a drought-hit Somali community
1 December 2011 – With funding from the Government of Japan, UNICEF has helped drought-hit Somali communities to operationalize their water systems, bringing life back to towns and villages. Read more.

In Somalia, UNICEF constructs classrooms and trains teachers for children displaced by conflict
UNICEF is constructing classrooms, training teachers, supplying learning and teaching materials and school uniforms, and distributing vouchers to families to ensure that displaced children receive basic education.

Public-Private Partnership provides safe water to drought-affected populations in Somalia
29 April 2011 - People of Qardho town suffered from shortage of water until a few years ago when an extensive water system was introduced.

Rural water system helps alleviate impact of drought in Somalia
28 April 2011 - As communities in Somalia face harsh conditions following the failure of the October-December Deyr rains, the people of Waaciye village are grateful that they have an operational water source.

FIELD DIARY: Reaching the last quintile in remote areas of Somalia
Field diary written by UNICEF Emergency Specialist who recently visited remote locations in central Somalia as part of a UNICEF team on a WASH monitoring mission in responce to the current drought.

Somali village overcomes drought with a new water source thanks to UNICEF & Italian Development Cooperation
2 March 2011 - As drought affects communities in Somalia following the failure of the (October-December) Deyr rains, the people of Saddex Higlo village, are thankful that a new borehole is now operational.

UNICEF Programmes in Somalia, face and overcome multiple challenges
September 2010 - A presentation on the challenging work of UNICEF's Somalia office, one of the country programmes presented to the UNICEF Executive Board for consideration on 8 September 2010, at the Board's second regular meeting of 2010.

Despite challenges, UNICEF partners in Mogadishu strive to reach women and children
September 2010: It is hard to think of a place where children are more at risk than Somalia. As fighting continues in the capital, Mogadishu, and in other parts of the central southern regions of the country, violations of children’s rights go on...

UNICEF Representative visits national staff delivering for children in Somalia
Nairobi, 25 June 2010: UNICEF Representative to Somalia Rozanne Chorlton recently returned from a mission to Mogadishu, the conflict-affected country’s capital city. Her firsthand account follows...

After alarming rise, UNICEF calls for release of Somali child soldiers
7 May 2010 – As reports warn of an alarming rise in the recruitment of child soldiers in Somalia, UNICEF and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict are calling on all parties to put an immediate end to this...

Goodwill Ambassador Agnes Chan reflects on visit to Somalia
March 2010: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Japan Agnes Chan – a renowned Asian pop singer, doctor of education and TV personality – has made more than a dozen trips to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East on behalf of UNICEF. Recently she visited Somalia...

Amidst fighting, Somali children receive life-saving health services in Mogadishu
9 February 2010 – Despite fighting that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people here, a large-scale Child Health Days campaign has succeeded in reaching children and women with high-impact health services in all of the Somali capital’s 16 districts.

UNICEF programme expanded to fight widespread undernutrition in Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia, 8 December 2009: In Somalia, more than 40 per cent of children exhibit signs of chronic nutritional deprivation. This can be a life-threatening condition if appropriate interventions are not provided...

Child Health Days reach displaced communities in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor
NAIROBI, Kenya, 24 November, 2009: For the first time ever, a Child Health Days campaign has reached displaced children and women in Somalia’s Afgoye Corridor, a 30 km stretch of road west of Mogadishu that is the world’s most densely populated...

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director urges stepped-up response to crisis in Somalia.
NAIROBI, Kenya, 19 November 2009: Time is running out for children in Somalia. The number of people affected by hunger and severe food insecurity has doubled in the last year to more than 3.6 million. Almost half are children...

Funding shortfalls may threaten critical humanitarian assistance in Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, 21 October 2009: UNICEF officials worry that funding shortfalls may threaten the humanitarian assistance activities that are urgently needed for roughly 3.6 million people in Somalia, including for 1.4 million affected by severe drought...

UN report finds crisis in Somalia at its worst in two decades
NEW YORK, USA, 26 August 2009: A new report confirms a stark picture of the situation facing children and families in Somalia, where UNICEF has been stymied in its efforts to slow a surge in malnutrition in parts of the country most affected by...

UNICEF nutrition intervention in Somalia disrupted by looting
NEW YORK, USA, 13 August 2009: UNICEF has been forced to delay delivery of crucial nutritional supplies after looters targeted the warehouse of a UNICEF partner in the lower Juba region...

Aid reaches some displaced families as fighting continues in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 9 July 2009: As battles between government forces and armed groups continue to rock Mogadishu, more families are being driven out of their homes in search of safety every day. Over 200,000 of the city's residents have been displaced...

Life-saving nutrition interventions for vulnerable Somali children
EL-BERDE, Somalia, 24 June 2009: From early in the morning, the outpatient therapeutic centre (OTP) in El-Berde is crowded with women and their children seeking its services. The OTP is set up inside the town’s maternal and child health centre...

Occupation of UNICEF Somalia base hinders vital interventions
NEW YORK, USA, 24 June 2009: The Somali militia group Al Shabaab is still occupying the UNICEF base in Jowhar town, nearly six weeks after taking it over on 17 May. Jowhar is UNICEF’s main hub for the southern and central regions of Somalia...

UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell reports on the situation in Somalia
BOSSASO, Somalia, 22 May 2009: Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent and current UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies, recently concluded a three-day trip to northeast Somalia to report on the situation of children and women...

UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes visits projects in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 4 March 2009: UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes Louis-Georges Arsenault has returned from a visit to Somalia, where he saw firsthand the situation of children and women, and efforts to provide them with life-saving aid...

Food issues crucial as Somalia faces 'worst-case scenario'
August 2008: Malnutrition is one of the biggest challenges facing Somali children today, and according to an upcoming UN report, it could be getting worse...

UNICEF USA Ambassador Clay Aiken visits Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 2 July 2008: During a five-day visit to the self-declared republic of Somaliland in north-west Somalia, UNICEF USA Ambassador Clay Aiken was moved by the work that UNICEF is doing under challenging circumstances...

Camp in Baidoa is home to IDPs
December 2006: For over 15 years many Somalis fleeing conflict in the capital, Mogadishu settled in the town of Baidoa in southern Somalia, establishing a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs), which has become known as Bay Project 1 or BP1...

Floods put Southern Somalia under threat
November 2006: The humanitarian crisis in southern Somalia is deepening, as the Shabelle and Juba Valley river basins are potentially facing one of the worst floods in recent history. Already 50,000 people were displaced by floods in Hiran region...

Education - Tents to the rescue of Somali children
November 2006: 13 October 2006 marked the first anniversary of the opening of a school for internally displaced children of the State House settlement in Hargeisa Northwest Somalia (‘Somaliland’). The settlement has existed for 15 years...

Somali town welcomes aid from ShelterBox
August 2006: Leaders in Merka have thanked ShelterBox, a UK organization for donating tents to families in internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps. Speaking to representatives of ShelterBox in late July...

Faces of UNICEF - Diaspora to Somalia
March 2006: “I decided to return to a place that was virtually unknown to me,” says Fadumo Qasim Dayib as she narrates her decision to return to Somalia 15 years after she left as a teenage girl...

Drought 2006 - Boy's long journey to treatment
February 2006: Shubeb Frow Hussein is just six years old. Feverish and malnourished, he travelled 180 km with his father from their village in Baidoa in southern Somalia to the Maternal and Child Health Clinic in Wajid town...

Emergency - Diary from Tsunami-hit area
January 2005: UNICEF Somalia Emergency Officer, Robert (Bob) McCarthy's observations on 9 and 10 January 2005 during a visit to Hafun village, one of the worst affected locations by the tsunami which hit Somalia...

Emergency - Tsunami renews interest in Somalia
January 2005: Located far out on the eastern edge of the Horn of Africa, where no proper roads exist and the airstrip is the desert, the remote Somali fishing village of Hafun hasn’t had so much attention in decades...

Emergency - In Hafun, a girl’s dream comes true
April 2005: Nine-year old Faduma Farah Aden always wanted to go to school but never thought she would have the chance. Like most of the girls in Hafun, a fishing village in northeast Somalia, she was resigned to spending her days looking after sheep...

Emergency - New school rises from the Tsunami
December 2005: Like an oasis, the new primary school in Hafun is a welcome sight amid the devastation still evident almost one year after the Indian Ocean tsunami...

Faces of UNICEF - Working in Mogadishu
November 2004: The small Beechcraft plane takes off from the airstrip outside Mogadishu in a swirl of red dust. Inside are UNICEF staff from Nairobi flying on to other locations in Somalia after a stopover. Ahmed Moallim Mohammed, a slight figure waves...



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