Families in Somalia have suffered heavy losses due to three consecutive years of insufficient rains and ongoing conflict in many areas. Most regions were in severe drought by early 2022. Water shortages and the loss of livestock had caused widespread displacement of hundreds of thousands of people looking for food and water.
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Children and their families are being deprived of a place to call home, a meal, and a school. They also lack access to vital health services. WE is present on the ground, providing emergency support to children and their families. It also helps communities prepare for the growing hardships caused by climate change.
Taking extreme measures to survive. In many cases, they are moving away from their homes. This puts their children at particular risk. Around 670,000 people were displaced by hunger, thirst, and lack of land to graze their livestock as of 9 March 2022.
Water shortages and insufficient access to sanitation and hygiene facilities increase the likelihood of spreading preventable diseases like acute watery diarrhea, cholera, and respiratory infections. WE are working together to provide water trucking services to displaced people to ensure that they have safe access to water and help to prevent diseases from spreading.
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Many thousands of Somalian children are at risk for severe wasting, the most serious and visible form of malnutrition. A February assessment showed that over 1.4 million children in Somalia are at risk of suffering from severe malnutrition as a result of the Horn of Africa’s ongoing drought. More than 25% of these children will likely experience severe malnutrition.
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WE and its partners are working together to mitigate and manage nutrition-related challenges. This includes providing essential interventions to address acute malnutrition, micronutrients to combat deficiencies, and counselling to encourage families and individuals to implement healthy nutrition and lifestyle practices at home.
Families of displacees live in 2,400 sometimes difficult-to-reach, overcrowded temporary locations. WE and its partners have increased the provision of vital lifesaving health services. This includes routine vaccination services and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. WE supports local authorities in enhancing their ability to deliver nutrition and health services.
Many mothers and babies are not able to access simple, cost-effective solutions, especially for those who have been displaced. Proven solutions include access to clean water, disinfectants, handwashing and breastfeeding within the first hour. Proper cord care and nutrition are also important. WE are working together to ensure mothers and children have access to these essential services.
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There has been an increase in children not attending school due to the large number of people who move around in search of food and water. Many of the children who drop out of school, particularly teenage girls, don’t return to school after they leave. Schools often close. Children who are not in school or on the move are more at risk of being exploited and abused.