Horn of Africa - Key Facts and Figures from UNICEF

Wednesday 3 August 2011, 8:08AM
By UNICEF New Zealand

UNICEF NZ Emergency Appeal – or 0800 800 194

General Information

  • An estimated 11.6million people in the Horn of Africa need urgent humanitarian support (an increase of 858,000 people since July 15)
  • Over 2.3 million children are estimated to be malnourished across the regions
  • Over half a million severely malnourished children are at imminent risk of death
  • Famine has been declared in Lower Shabelle and parts of Bakool in southern Somalia.
  • Other southern regions of Somalia may also deteriorate to famine in the next 1-2 months.
  • Tens of thousands of people have died and many more lives are at risk
  • 3.7 million people in Somalia, almost half the population, require humanitarian assistance
  • 1.85 million children in Somalia are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance
  • In Somalia only 30% of the population has access to clean water
  • This is not just a food crisis but a crisis for child survival. Malnutrition isn’t just a lack of food but a combination of other factors like poor health services and unsafe water and sanitation.
  • This is a double disaster - while the situation is most dire for those displaced inside Somalia and the refugees recently arrived in Kenya and Ethiopia, the majority of people affected by the drought live outside the camps in pastoralist communities across the region

Health and Malnutrition

  • Famine is declared when acute malnutrition rates amongst children exceed 30% and more than two people in 10,000 die per day (four children in 10,000)
  • Malnutrition rates in parts of Bakool and Lower Shabelle in Somalia are at 50% with the highest death rates exceeding six deaths in 10,000 per day.
  • In Somalia more than 780,000 children are acutely malnourished
  • In most regions of the south of Somalia 1 in 5 children are severely malnourished. In some areas as many as 1 in 3 are severely malnourished and at high risk of death
  • Malnourished children are especially susceptible to disease. In Southern Somalia vaccination coverage is just 26 per cent - one of the lowest in the world
  • Immediate assistance is needed to stop the situation worsening in the coming months.

Displacement and Internally Displaced People (IDP)

  • The drought has created an influx of refugees from Somalia to Kenya and Ethiopia. At present there are 760,000 refugees in need of assistance
  • There are currently 17,600 refugees in Djibouti, 514,000 in Kenya and 228,000 in Ethiopia
  • Current estimates are that 3,500 people are arriving each day in Kenya and Ethiopia
  • 1.46 million people are displaced within Somalia and living in poor conditions (58% are children).
  • The majority of IDPs (409,000) are living along the Afgooye Corridor, a 30 kilometre stretch of road between Mogadishu to Afgooye Town.

UNICEF support for children

  • UNICEF is massively scaling up our work across the Horn of Africa providing therapeutic foods, water and sanitation and carrying out huge vaccination campaigns
  • By plane, truck and ship, UNICEF has delivered thousands of metric tons of critical supplies to some of the hardest hit areas in southern Somalia. UNICEF is getting aid to children in restricted areas.
  • So far three flights to Mogadishu, two to Galkayo, and one to Baidoa, as well as two ships to Mogadishu have delivered life-saving nutritional supplies.
  • This week, a vessel carrying 410 metric tons of Corn Soya Blend to provide blanket feeding for over 20,000 families is expected to dock in Mogadishu. The ship will also deliver therapeutic milk and ready-to-use therapeutic food.
  • UNICEF is the single largest agency delivering therapeutic and supplementary nutrition services in Somalia, working through a partnership with about 60 non-governmental organizations in the South.
  • In Somalia alone, UNICEF is the main provider of high-calorie therapeutic food, and supports over 800 nutrition centres in Somalia. UNICEF is also providing basic health care services to nearly 900,000 people, as well as safe drinking water to over a million in Somalia.
  • UNICEF has launched a massive vaccination campaign for children living in the host communities around Dadaab refugee camp in Northern Kenya. The campaign will target almost 203,000 children under five. UNICEF will also work with partners to vaccinate every child in Somalia (under the age of 15) against measles – a total of 2.5 million children.

Supporting UNICEF’s work

  • UNICEF needs an estimated USD$300m to the end of 2011 with a current shortfall of $200m.
  • Means to save children’s lives are inexpensive and every donation matters
  • For only NZ $40, 100 children can be vaccinated
  • Sachets of oral rehydration salts cost only NZ 10c
  • Packets of Plumpy’nut therapeutic food cost only NZ 70c
  • Please donate now at or call 0800 800 194.