Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Somalia


Total people in need 5.2 million

Total children (<18) in need 3.4 million

Total people to be reached 1.2 million

Total children to be reached 780,000

2020 programme targets


133,500 children aged 0 to 59 months with SAM admitted to therapeutic care

43,000 children aged 6 to 59 months with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) admitted to therapeutic care through the simplified protocol

400,000 primary caregivers of children aged 0 to 23 months who received counselling on infant and young child feeding


99,744 children vaccinated against measles

88,176 women and children under 5 years accessing essential maternal and child health services

968,388 people provided with access to essential and life-saving health care services


800,000 people accessing temporary safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

220,000 people accessing improved sanitation facilities

1,200,000 people reached with hygiene kits

Child protection

120,000 children participating in community-based mental health and psychosocial support activities, including child-friendly spaces

10,000 survivors of gender-based violence accessing a package of gender-based violence services (medical, legal, mental health, psychosocial support and materials)

3,000 girls and boys formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups provided with reintegration support


130,000 children accessing quality non-formal or formal primary education

130,000 children and youth provided with teaching and learning materials

2,025 teachers and school management committee members trained

Cash-based transfers

8,000 vulnerable households received cash transfers


Children in Somalia continue to face acute humanitarian needs due to conflict, constraints on humanitarian access to insecure areas and erratic rains. An estimated 5.2 million people, including 1.4 million newly displaced persons and 3.4 million children, will require humanitarian assistance in 2020. Conflict continues in Somalia, with some populations experiencing forced displacement and rising humanitarian needs due to ongoing operations between government forces and non-state actors. Women, children and people with disabilities remain highly vulnerable, with gender-based violence and child recruitment continuing to undermine wellbeing in 2019. Due to the delayed rains in May 2019, the major crop harvest was 68 per cent lower than average, and the worst harvest on record. As a result, over 178,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2020, and some 6.3 million people are facing higher risks of food insecurity. In addition, 2.7 million people are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support, and 3.3 million people require health assistance. The shifting dynamics in Somalia will continue to impact humanitarian access, particularly as the country heads into national elections in 2020. This situation will require flexible programming and linkages with sustainable solutions, where possible.

Humanitarian strategy

In 2020, UNICEF, will continue to advocate for life-saving health, nutrition, education, WASH and child protection interventions for Somali children, leveraging its leadership position in the country and linking its humanitarian action with development programming. Working closely with stakeholders, UNICEF will build sustainable programmes, wherever possible, and foster resilience at all levels – from the household level to the community, state and national levels. Cash programming will be a critical component of the emergency response, and humanitarian cash will be integrated into existing social protection mechanisms.
Humanitarian programmes will emphasize the importance of community engagement and participation. UNICEF will build on its work to improve accountability to affected populations by focusing on inclusion of children with disabilities and gender equity. Women and children will be actively included in programme design and implementation to strengthen community involvement and identify crosscutting needs and appropriate solutions.
UNICEF will also support communities with appropriate technologies to increase awareness and accountability and thereby empower women, children and other vulnerable groups to voice their needs.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$68.8 million available against the US$145.3 million appeal (47 per cent funded). This funding allowed UNICEF to maintain 105 partnership agreements for extensive operational reach and deliver significant results for children.
UNICEF was also able to pre-position supplies and work closely with partners to meet critical needs and targets. More than 500,000 people accessed safe drinking water less than 500 metres from their homes and over 105,000 children (52 per cent girls) were treated for SAM. Over 455,000 people with access to primary health care received emergency life-saving health services.
Despite underfunding, UNICEF reached over 34,000 children and youth (45 per cent girls) with formal or non-formal education and nearly 36,000 children (14,261 girls) participated in psychosocial support activities. A key challenge was the launch of the humanitarian cash programme, which was beset by operational issues. However, as part of its focus on strengthening the linkages between humanitarian action and development programming, UNICEF partnered with the World Bank and the World Food Programme (WFP) to build a social safety net programme.