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Somalia Humanitarian Overview Vol. 2 Issue 5, May 2009


Main Developments

- The worst fighting in recent months between government forces and insurgents in Mogadishu left a trail of destruction, civilian casualties and renewed displacement. The fi ghting started on 7 May and continued throughout the month. More than 200 civilians were killed, at least 800 wounded and some 100,000 displaced by the fi rst week of June.

- The newly displaced are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, in particular, shelter and medical care. While assistance is reaching those in need it is far from suffi cient to meet requirements. Although humanitarian organisations are scaling-up their response eff orts for the newly displaced, insecurity in the city and elsewhere is hampering the organisations' ability to respond comprehensively to emerging needs.

- Fighting and violence is not limited to Mogadishu but spread to several major towns in South/Central Somalia. On 17 May, Al Shabaab forces took control of Jowhar town, located 90km north of Mogadishu. That same day, Al Shabaab raided UNICEF's compound and undertook large-scale looting and destruction of humanitarian supplies, assets and equipment. This act has country-wide humanitarian implications as Jowhar is the main hub for the provision of services and supplies to the whole of South/Central Somalia.

- The recent fighting in Mogadishu is aggravating an already dire humanitarian crisis in the Somalia. Latest assessment reports indicate that the overall food security situation in many parts of the country will remain precarious over the coming six months. At least 3.2 million people, 43 percent of the country's population, will continue to require humanitarian assistance and livelihood support through September 2009.

- The latest nutrition survey (March/April) conducted by the UN Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) revealed high Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) levels averaging 25.5 and 8.1 percent, respectively, in children under fi ve years in Hiraan region, Central Somalia.

- With continuing violence in Somalia, as well as drought conditions and massive displacement, humanitarian needs continue to remain high, but funding received for the Consolidated Appeal so far covers only 35 percent of the US$984 million requested.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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