An estimated four million children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia. Despite the large scale humanitarian assistance delivered, the FSNAU-FEWSNET post Jilal assessment indicates an elevated risk of famine (IPC 5) due to a combination of severe food insecurity, high acute malnutrition, and high disease burden. The number of people in need has increased to 6.7 million, including 3.2 million people in crisis.
More than 7,000 measles cases have been reported across Somalia since the start of the year, exceeding the total 2016 caseload. UNICEF and partners continue to scale up the response with more than 350,000 children immunised against measles in 2017.
In light of the scale of internal displacements to urban centres, it is critical to scale up access to sanitation and hygiene services. More than 30,000 emergency latrines need to be built to avoid further disease outbreaks, in particular as the rainy season sets in.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate due to the severe drought, with an estimated four million children in urgent need of assistance. Despite the large scale humanitarian assistance delivered, the FSNAUFEWSNET post Jilal assessment2 indicates an elevated risk of famine (IPC 5), due to a combination of severe food insecurity, high acute malnutrition, and high disease burden. The number of people in need has increased to 6.7 million, including 3.2 million people in crisis and 4.5 million people estimated to be in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance. The projected number of children who are, or will be, acutely malnourished has increased by 50 per cent since the beginning of the year to 1.4 million, including over 275,000 who have or will suffer lifethreatening severe acute malnutrition in 2017.
Severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die of killer diseases like acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera and measles. During the 2011 famine that killed an estimated 260,000 people, over half of them young children, the main causes of death among children were diarrhoea and measles. As of week 18, close to 38,000 cases of AWD/cholera have been reported;3 2.4 times more than the 2016 caseload. Since the start of the year, 683 deaths have been recorded, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.8 per cent. More than 7,000 measles cases have been reported since the start of the year. 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. Life-saving supplies are being pre-positioned with partners and at facility level and coordination is ongoing with the World Health organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners to train and deploy integrated emergency response teams. Vaccination campaigns for measles are also ongoing in targeted hotspots.
An estimated 80,000 children enrolled in schools (9 per cent) have been forced out of education due to school closures and children migrating with families. Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Sool and Sanaag regions are the most affected, with up to 30 per cent of children enrolled affected. Internal displacement to urban centres is also increasing tensions between host communities and IDPs over limited resources and out-of-school children are at further risk of exploitation and recruitment into armed groups.
The drought is also uprooting people, with 683,000 displaced since November 2016, adding to the 1.1 million existing internally displaced persons (IDPs).4 This includes 155,000 newly displaced in Baidoa and 147,000 in Mogadishu since the start of the crisis.