Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 - Somalia

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Despite improvements in the food security situation in Somalia, humanitarian needs remain acute due to the continued conflict and repeated climatic shocks. An estimated 4.2 million people, including 2.6 million internally displaced persons and 2.5 million children, require humanitarian assistance.
The nutrition situation remains serious, with 1.5 million people projected to require emergency nutrition support in 2019.

Of these, 954,000 children under 5 years will suffer from malnutrition, including 173,000 children at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM).3 Across the country, 3 million people require access to emergency health services and 2.9 million people require water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support.4 Recurrent disease outbreaks—including of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera and measles—represent a major threat to children. Of the 4.9 million school-aged children in Somalia, an estimated 3 million, or more than 60 per cent, are out of school.

The majority of these children are located in Somalia’s southern and central regions. Grave violations against children are on the rise, with 3,566 children, including 569 girls, reported to be victims of violence committed by parties to conflict—primarily abduction and recruitment/use by armed forces and groups— between January and September 2018. This represents a 44 per cent increase in violations over 2017 levels.

Humanitarian strategy

In line with the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF will provide an integrated response to climatic shocks, displacement and conflict in Somalia, including life-saving support to address malnutrition and excess mortality, and a central focus on child protection in all programme activities.

UNICEF will sustain critical services in crisis-affected areas and target internally displaced persons in priority locations, while continuing to expand services in hard-to-access areas. The response will prioritize integrated programming that includes nutrition, WASH and health services complemented by child protection and education interventions.

UNICEF will maintain its cluster leadership roles, and continue to work closely with line ministries to coordinate activities and support capacity building.

Where possible, UNICEF will respond jointly with the World Food Programme (WFP) to address critical malnutrition rates. In line with the Grand Bargain commitments, cash-based assistance will be prioritized, with a gradual transition from humanitarian cash transfers to safety net approaches.
UNICEF will also work to strengthen linkages with the Joint Resilience Action, in coordination with WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to contribute to longer-term, shared outcomes and build resilience, in line with the United Nations New Way of Working principles.

Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had US$96.4 million available against the US$154.9 million appeal (62 per cent funded).

This funding allowed UNICEF to maintain extensive operational reach and deliver significant results for children. UNICEF’s approximately 100 partnership agreements covering 95 per cent of affected areas were also instrumental to achieving the year’s results. UNICEF effectively prepositioned supplies and worked closely with partners, including WFP, to meet critical needs and targets, such as for SAM treatment (target reached) and the provision of cash transfers benefiting more than 100,000 people. More than 1.1 million people gained temporary access to safe water and over 740,000 women and children gained access to life-saving emergency health services. In addition, over 4.4 million children were vaccinated against measles. More than 78,000 children and adolescents (42 per cent girls) accessed education with the support of UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, and some 29,500 children received psychosocial support. Some 4,700 unaccompanied and separated children were identified and registered, and 9,100 survivors of gender-based violence received appropriate care and support.