Last Updated: Friday, 11 July 2014, 13:14 GMT

Urgent funding needed to avert worsening malnutrition, disease in Somalia - UN

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 25 February 2009
Cite as UN News Service, Urgent funding needed to avert worsening malnutrition, disease in Somalia - UN, 25 February 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49aff7a71e.html [accessed 12 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Without an immediate infusion of funding, the already grave malnutrition and disease levels in Somalia will worsen, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) cautioned today.

In an alert to donors, the Office highlighted the need for assistance for emergency nutrition as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes in two regions in north and central Somalia.

The nutrition situation is critical in Gedo and Central regions, and has been exacerbated by limited funding and a water shortage.

Both areas have reached Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above the 15 per cent emergency threshold, topping 20 per cent in some parts.

OCHA warned that more people could become vulnerable to water-borne diseases, which are responsible for 20 per cent of deaths among children under the age of five in the Horn of Africa nation. More than one-quarter of the over 200,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of immediate treatment to survive.

Over $20 million is required for nutrition needs for the next four months, while $6 million is needed for WASH needs, including improving emergency water and sanitation services.

Last month, a UN analysis found that more than three million people in Somalia, a third or more of the total population, will remain dependent on humanitarian assistance this year.

The country, which has been riven by factional fighting and has not had a functioning central government since 1991, witnessed several encouraging developments over the past month, including the election of the country's new President and the creation of an enlarged Parliament.

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