UNICEF Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report #4, 1 - 15 April 2017

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 15 Apr 2017


  • More than 24,000 cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera have been reported in 2017, nearly 4,000 during the reporting period. This is well above the total caseload for 2016 (15,600 cases). In total, UNICEF is directly supporting 50 cholera treatment facilities across Somalia and has treated more than 24,200 AWD/cholera cases.
  • During the reporting period, UNICEF has scaled-up its WASH response and together with partners is now providing more than one million people affected by drought with temporary access to safe water.
  • UNICEF and partners have, so far, provided 56,054 severe acute malnourished children with lifesaving treatment, almost double the number of admissions when compared to the same period last year (29,807).

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate due to the severe drought, which started in the north in 2016 and is now affecting most of the country. Over 6.2 million people are facing acute food insecurity and 4.5 million people are estimated to be in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance. The situation is especially grave for children. Close to one million children (under five) will be acutely malnourished in 2017, including 185,000 severely malnourished, which may increase to over 270,000 if famine is not averted. Malnourished children are particularly vulnerable to measles.

Reduced access to water contributes directly to malnutrition, and brings with it an increased risk of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera. More than 24,000 cases of AWD/cholera have already been reported (an increase of nearly 4,000 during the reporting period) across southern regions and Puntland since the start of the year. This is well above the total caseload for 2016 (15,600 cases). More than 545 people have died since January and the case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 2.3 per cent, above the emergency threshold of one per cent. UNICEF is scaling-up its response with emergency health and WASH teams roving across the affected locations to train partners, supporting case management, sanitation and ensuring affected populations access safe water. Lifesaving supplies are being prepositioned with partners and at facility level, and coordination ongoing with WHO, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners to deploy additional teams.

The drought is also uprooting people, with more than 530,000 displaced since November 2016, adding to the 1.1 million already internally displaced (IDPs). This includes 278,000 new IDPs in the month of March alone, with 72,000 new arrivals in Mogadishu and 70,000 in Baidoa. In addition, the number of people crossing into Kenya is increasing. The rapid scale of displacement increases the risk of family separation and gender-based violence. Children are also dropping out of school, with 50,000 children reported to have stopped going to school, and an additional 40,000 at risk of being forced to interrupt their schooling.