Situation Analysis of Children in Somalia 2016

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Situation Analysis of Children – A call for action to realize the rights of all Somali children

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 1 August 2016 – UNICEF, together with the Federal Government of Somalia, donors and partners, today launched the Situation Analysis of Children in Somalia 2016.

The report consists of comprehensive data and analysis on the state of Somali children, as well as recommendations crucial to support UNICEF’s work of fulfilling the rights of all Somali children. It takes note of the positive trends in child survival and development, such as the declines in child mortality, maternal mortality and malaria; the increase in immunization coverage and birth registration; and the country’s success in containing the most recent polio outbreak. However, much remains to be done.

Among the challenges are 1 in 7 children dies before reaching 5th birthday, and over 300,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished. Every three hours, a woman dies from pregnancy-related complications. More than half of children are out of school with girls’ participation considerably lower than that of boys. At 98 per cent, Somalia has the highest rate of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the world.

“The future of most girls in Somalia can be described as very bleak. Our laws may give them rights and guarantee equality to a certain point, but in practice we all know that their rights are often violated, whether incidental or systematic,” said Zahra Samatar, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, Federal Government of Somalia. “As Somalia has now developed its first ever National Development Plan in 30 years, it is a clear opportunity for women and girls to be included in a more sustainable way in our development agenda.”

The report highlights equity and youth as another two focus areas crucial to the fulfilment of the rights of all Somali children. “To fully realize the rights of children we must reach the most vulnerable,” said Fartuun Adan, Executive Director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre. “They are the children from minority clans, rural and pastoralist communities and IDP camps.”

Fatima Ali, a youth activist, called for a youth agenda. “We can help build our country, but first we need education, training and a chance to do so,” she said. Just under half (45.6 per cent) of Somalia’s population is less than 15 years old, and three-quarters (75 per cent) is under 30.

“The Situation Analysis of Children in Somalia is commissioned by UNICEF, but with the support of a wide range of partners, including children and youth,” said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Representative. “As the Government and its development partners look at the next three years through the National Development Plan, we hope that this report will provide a guide to help not only UNICEF, but also the Government and all of our partners to make the rig­­­ht decisions - to invest in Somalia’s children, and to help them, including the most disadvantaged, to succeed in life.”

View and download the report

For more information, please contact:

Kun Li, UNICEF, mobile: 254 (0)715581365, email: