Approximately 650 kilometres of the Somali coastline was impacted by the tsunami, primarily in the stretch between Xaafun (Hafun) (Bari region) and Garacad (Mudung region), with differing degrees of devastation. The tsunami resulted in the death of some 300 people and extensive destruction of shelters, houses and water sources as well as fishing gear. The tsunami came at a time when many parts of the country were beginning to recover from four years of consecutive drought and periodic floods in addition to chronic insecurity. The impact of the tsunami therefore posed a further assault to an already vulnerable population.
The livelihoods of many people residing in towns and small villages along the Somalia coastline, particularly in the northern regions, were devastated. About 18,000 households were estimated to be directly affected and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The tsunami disaster coincided with the peak of the fishing season which increased the number of those affected.
The immediate response by UN agencies and other organizations has focused on meeting the life saving needs of the affected population such as emergency food, medicines and non -- food items. These were dispatched less than two days after the crisis started unfolding, whereby clean drinking water, shelter and non -- food items were urgently needed because most of the wells had been submerged andcontaminated by seawater and other debris whilst food items had been washed away. UN agencies, including UNDP, WFP, UNHCR, and OCHA as well as NGOs fielded a multi -- agency assessment mission to the areas affected by the tsunami. Specifically, WFP, UNICEF, UNHCR and WHO have either prepositioned or distributed relief items to some of the affected areas including food, medicines and emergency relief kits.
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