Somalia

A Somali child is measured for malnutrition at an Action Against Hunger clinic.
Photo: Action Against Hunger, Somalia
Population
10.81 million
Our Team
251 employees
Program Start
1992

People Helped in 2019: 606,255

263,307
People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
213,522
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
129,496
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

Gripped by recurring droughts, chronic food shortages, and over 20 years of nearly incessant conflict, Somalia is one of the most challenging environments in the world for humanitarian operations. Across the country, more than one million children under five - 1 in 10 - are acutely malnourished, of which 178,000 severely malnourished and 830,000 are moderately malnourished. Additionally, an estimated 832,000 pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need nutrition assistance. 

Malnutrition is driven by number of factors, including conflict, political instability, displacement, climate change, as well as limited access to healthcare and clean water, food insecurity, and poor hygiene and sanitation practices. Poor environmental conditions, limited access to water, and unsafe sanitation exacerbate the impact of food insecurity and drive increased levels of malnutrition and epidemics. Outbreaks of malaria, measles, diarrhea, cholera, and polio, combined with high malnutrition rates and limited access to services, lead to increased morbidity and mortality. Harsh conditions, violence, and displacement subject the population to psychological distress, resulting in social and mental health issues.

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In 2019 alone, Action Against Hunger’s programs in Somalia reached 606,255 people. We improved access to nutrition treatment and prevention programs through fixed and mobile treatment sites, reaching 22,395 severely malnourished children. Our teams increased access to quality primary healthcare services for 165,112 pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and young children in hard-to-reach communities. 

Our teams integrated water, sanitation, and hygiene projects into health, nutrition, food security and livelihoods programs, reaching 213,522 people and increasing access to clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene practices in areas with high malnutrition rates. To improve food security and support livelihoods among displaced and host populations during the severe drought, we provided $2.45 million in cash transfers to help 122,199 vulnerable people access basic goods, strengthen resilience, and promote local markets. 
 
Additionally, last year, we expanded health services under the essential primary health services package, supporting 34 public health facilities in 25 districts and across seven regions in the provision of health consultations, immunization, ante-natal care, skilled birth delivery, postnatal care and nutrition services. Basic emergency obstetric and newborn care were made available in three of those facilities. We will continue to provide technical support, finances, resources, and supplies beyond 2020.

Action Against Hunger is one of the lead agencies for Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in Somalia, implementing CMAM programs, and providing capacity support and advice to other CMAM initiatives. We operate three of the largest stabilization centers in Mogadishu, where referrals come from all outpatient therapeutic programs in Mogadishu and beyond. Our teams also provide support and advice to the Somali health authorities to strengthen nutrition surveillance through capacity support for routine data collection, surveys, and sentinel surveillance.

Learn more about our programs in Somalia: Read our 2018 Capacity Statement here.

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