OCHA Somalia: Drought Operations update - 16 March 2017

Oral cholera vaccination campaign launched

On 15 March 2017, the Government of Somalia launched an oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign, the first such campaign in Somalia - with the support of UN World Health Organization (WHO), targeting over 450,000 people in seven high-risk areas around the country. The vaccines, which will be administered to at-risk persons aged one year or older, are being delivered in two rounds - from 15 March to 19 March, and the second round will be held from 18 to 22 April. Somalia is currently experiencing a large-scale outbreak of AWD/cholera with over 11,000 cases and 268 related deaths (case–fatality rate 2.4 per cent) reported in 11 regions since the beginning of 2017. The response efforts by the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and health partners have included active case search, effective case management, intensive household chlorination and community awareness campaigns. http://www.emro.who.int/som/somalia-news/oral-cholera-vaccination-campai...

Humanitarian response in Waajid in Bakool

On 12 March humanitarian partners, including UNICEF, WFP, OCHA, World Vision International (WVI) and Intersos, undertook a mission to Dinsoor in Bay region and Wajid in Bakool region to assess the humanitarian situation and to meet with the authorities. Drought displaced people continue to arrive in Wajid from neighbouring villages to seek assistance. The authorities also reported a high number of AWD/Cholera cases. UNICEF has immediately deployed an emergency cholera response team to support partners on the ground, including the delivery of essential supplies. UNICEF is also working with WVI and partners to improve the treatment facility. Nutrition partners reported that more than 250 severely malnourished children were treated in February, and up to 190 children in the first week of March alone, a sign that the nutrition situation has deteriorated significantly. The inter-agency team also visited a WFP distribution project, including a health and nutrition center.

Humanitarian partners scale up life-saving response

Humanitarian partners have scaled-up life-saving assistance to mitigate the impact of the drought and avert a possible famine. An estimated 1.1 million people, more than double compared to 490,000 people reached in January, were reached with improved access to food in February. Nutrition partners reached more than 108,800 children under age 5 and pregnant and lactating mothers with Treatment for Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) in February. In January, they reached just 26,000 people with assistance. These gains were made possible due to scale up of response as result of increased funding. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/somalia_humanit...

Funding to avert famine

On March 14, the Government of Japan extended the Emergency Grant Aid of $26 million in response to the famine in the Middle East and Africa through six international organizations and agencies including the WFP. Of this package, $8.5 million has been allocated to Somalia through four international organizations to provide humanitarian assistance such as food, nutrition, health and WASH. http://www.ke.emb-japan.go.jp/files/000237231.pdf

On 13 March, the United Kingdom Government announced it will fund a £16 million (nearly $20 million) programme to help avert famine in Somalia over the coming months. It will support more than 450,000 people with life-saving interventions, particularly with food and water support. The £16 million allocation is part of a wider UKAid drought intervention for Somalia totaling £110 million ($136 million). The £16 million programme will start immediately through a consortium of seven non-governmental organizations working in Somalia.

Authorities in Somaliland to step up humanitarian response.

On 16 March, the Drought Response Committee in Somaliland announced that the government will contribute some $1 million for water trucking to drought-affected regions over the next two months. The authorities also announced that the governments of Djibouti and Ethiopia have provided food assistance to benefit an estimated 20,500 households. The government will distribute food to an estimated 41,000 drought-affected households in the coming weeks.

Risk of famine remains in 2017

The latest food security outlook released by the FAO-led Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) on 15 March, warns that the risk of famine in 2017 remains. The report covers the period between February to September 2017 and notes that should the April to June 2017 Gu rainy season perform poorly, purchasing power will decline to levels seen in 2010/11 and should humanitarian assistance be unable to reach populations in need, famine remains a strong possibility. While the northern regions are expected to be slightly favorable, southern and central regions where a significant decline is expected may be only slightly better than 2011 levels. Urgent humanitarian assistance is needed to prevent the worst. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Somalia_OL_02_2...

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.