Somalia: A call for humanitarian aid - Responding to the needs of those affected by the protracted emergency in Somalia | Updated March 2015

Originally published


This report is produced by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from January to 31 December 2015. It was first issued on 19 November 2014 and updated on 5 March 2015.

Situation Overview


The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains alarming. About 731,000 Somalis face acute food insecurity while an additional 2.3 million people are at risk of sliding into the same situation, bringing the number of Somalis in need to about 3 million. Internally displaced people living in urban areas are among the most vulnerable and make up 76 per cent of those who face acute food insecurity. Relatively good October to December rains, improved flow of goods and humanitarian assistance have helped prevent a worsening of the crisis. This is an improvement from the situation six months ago when over 1 million people were unable to feed themselves and 2.1 million were on the verge of acute food insecurity. However, the small reduction in the number of people in need is part of the usual seasonal variations and does not indicate a reversal of fortune for vulnerable Somalis. A poor performance of one rainy season could reverse the humanitarian situation to where it was six months ago or worse.

Acute malnutrition levels remain high. There are about 203,000 acutely malnourished children who require emergency nutrition supplement, access to clean water, sanitation infrastructure and better hygiene. About 38,000 children are severely malnourished and need medical treatment and therapeutic food to survive. Vaccinations to curb the current measles outbreak and eradicate polio will need to be sustained to reduce mortality among children and increase the extremely low vaccination coverage of only 30 per cent. The under-five mortality rate in Somalia is the fourth highest in the world. Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera affects thousands of Somalis each year. In 2014, around 5,500 cases of AWD/cholera were recorded, with 85 per cent of the cases children under the age of five. About 2.8 million women and men require improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

An estimated 1.1 million people are displaced and live in sub-standard conditions in overcrowded settlements with limited access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services, putting them at high risk of water and sanitation-related diseases. Displaced people continue to face forced evictions, discrimination and gender-based violence, and lack adequate protection and durable solutions. Among the most affected areas are settlements for displaced people in Mogadishu. Conflict and natural disasters also continue to lead to new displacements on a recurring basis. Given the already-significant gender inequalities, women and girls are placed at further risk of violence when obtaining access to food, water and sanitation due to the widespread impunity of armed groups, insecurity and violence. At the same time, boys and male adolescents remain the main targets of forced recruitment by armed groups.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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