Where We Work

Somalia

Hunger, Drought and Famine Risk

Higher than normal rains and above-average seasonal harvests across much of the country have combined to ease a serious food security crisis in some districts of Somalia’s southern regions. However, food security remains a major concern in northern and central areas where pastoral community livestock has been so depleted by prolonged drought that residents have little left to sell for food. Rebuilding herds to pre-drought levels could take years.

Abundant rains have also triggered severe flooding in many southern and central areas, displacing about 230,000 residents and leaving an estimated 772,000 in urgent need of food, potable water and health care affecting the lives of more than three-quarters of a million people. The effects of drought, flooding and displacement, in addition to ongoing fighting between government security forces and insurgents, have left more than one-third of Somalia’s 14 million people dependent on outside support for their survival and livelihoods.

Population

14.3 million

Life expectancy

56 years

Infant Mortality Rate

137 deaths 

per 1,000 live births

The Challenges

Limited Healthcare

Healthcare services in Somalia remain inconsistent and limited

Malnutrition

One in seven Somali children under 5 is acutely malnourished

Maternal Mortality

Somalia’s maternal mortality rate, at 732 per 100,000, is among the world’s highest

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

2.3 million Somalis lack access to safe water, increasing the risk of people dying of diseases

Our Response

Emergency Response to the Effects of Floods, Drought and Threat of Famine

International Medical Corps continues to scale up health and nutrition assistance in Mudug and Galgaduud, two regions at emergency levels of acute food insecurity. We also provide health and nutrition screening, in addition to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance within the Banadir, Bay and Middle Shabelle regions. This includes mobile medical clinics operating in Galgaduud, Banadir and Middle Shabelle that reach remote communities with lifesaving care. We also run a 54-bed stabilization center at Galkayo South Hospital that provides 24-hour care for severely malnourished children with medical complications.

In Mogadishu, International Medical Corps is providing primary health, nutrition and WASH services in two displacement settlements. This includes screening for acute malnutrition as well as providing food rations and community education about such topics as healthy infant and young-child feeding practices.

The effects of drought, flooding and displacement, in addition to sporadic armed conflict, have left approximately one-third of the population dependent on outside support for their survival and livelihoods. International Medical Corps has distributed hygiene kits to more than 2,000 households in five districts of South Central Somalia. This response is intended as a lifesaving measure to prevent deaths and reduce the risk of water-related diseases in villages that have been overwhelmed by an influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing conflict.

Nutrition and Secondary Healthcare

International Medical Corps provides Somalis with healthcare and nutrition that includes routine and emergency care. We also work to strengthen local capacity through the training and education of local health workers. We deliver outpatient and inpatient management of severe acute malnutrition, integrating this care with healthcare and WASH services in drought-affected and displaced communities in Abudwak and Galkacyo South districts, in Galmudug region.

With support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and UNICEF, we provide critical secondary healthcare services and therapeutic feeding of severely malnourished children at Galkayo South Hospital. Services include ready-to-use therapeutic foods and micro-nutrient supplements at an outpatient therapeutic program and an in-patient stabilization center.

In Jowhar, with funding from ECHO, we support a 42-bed maternity hospital, four health centers and six primary-care health units. In Mogadishu, we support two health centers located within IDP camps, while in Baidoa, we support one health center. These health facilities provide nutrition services, and integrated healthcare and WASH services to the most vulnerable communities. In addition, we support 14 mobile medical teams that serve difficult-to-reach communities.

International Medical Corps also has partnered with UNICEF to establish mother-to-mother and father-to-father care groups, and to help communities manage and prevent malnutrition by improving the knowledge and the practice of good child health, nutrition and WASH behavior.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

International Medical Corps provides routine and emergency healthcare to internally displaced people in Mogadishu, Jowhar, Baidoa, Galkayo and Abudwak districts of South Central Somalia. Humanitarian conditions in those areas remain dire, with widespread unmet health needs in impoverished, overcrowded IDP settlements.

Protection

International Medical Corps offers medical care to survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), helping them to overcome the trauma of rape, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other physical violence. In response to the significant protection needs in IDP settlements, we currently provide comprehensive integrated GBV services at Baidoa and Kaxda.

International Medical Corps is working to bring GBV services closer to survivors, making them available in the community by establishing community support groups composed of respected local people who are well-placed to provide basic psychological first aid, lead community discussions on GBV mitigation and engage in awareness raising on where and how to access services. International Medical Corps has established women-friendly spaces—a psychosocial support platform for survivors and other vulnerable women to meet and participate in skills-building activities for social support. International Medical Corps also distributes dignity kits to survivors and other vulnerable women and girls.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

International Medical Corps supports the prevention of WASH-related diseases as part of our comprehensive approach to healthcare. We provide access to clean water, improve sanitation facilities and promote safe hygiene practices within communities.

International Medical Corps provides access to sanitation and hygiene facilities to the most vulnerable population in Mudug, Galgaduud, Middle Shebelle, Bay and Banadir regions. Through mass awareness campaigns and home visits, our teams raise awareness at the community level about handwashing, hygienic latrine usage, safe water chains and solid-waste disposal. In Jowhar and Galkayo, we are building ventilated pit latrines to serve internally displaced persons at the camps. We also rehabilitate shallow wells to provide safe drinking water to the community, and distribute hygiene kits that contain household water treatment supplies.

Can washing your hands in an emergency save your life?

Sherifo Mohammed and her family ran for their lives back in 2010, away from the violent conflict in their home country of Somalia. They endured a dangerous journey to cross the border into Ethiopia and eventually ended up in Bokolmayo refugee camp in the Dolo Ado region—home to the largest refugee population in Africa. Sherifo remembers seeing many children die while she was trying to survive in Somalia—not from bombs or guns, but from diarrhea and other common ailments.

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