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Somalia Famine

The situation in southern Somalia is especially desperate and has officially been declared a famine by the United Nations.

This means that more than 30% of children in the area are now acutely malnourished. The FSNAU* reports that tens of thousands of people have died in the past three months. And the crisis is at risk of worsening over the coming months.

Oxfam is planning to expand their work in clean water, hygiene promotion and veterinary support to reach three quarters of a million people in Somalia and Somaliland.

In the worst hit areas of Somaliland, Oxfam are working with local partners to provide emergency water trucks, bringing clean water to villages where all other sources have dried up. 65,000 people in more than 50 villages are benefiting, and this is the only way they can get water free of charge. Oxfam engineers also repair boreholes and shallow wells in areas where there is some available water.

Our health workers are training community members to monitor the safety and quality of the water in each house. Ceramic water filters and soap have been distributed, and new latrines built to help prevent diseases. With an ever present threat of fatal diseases spreading if the water gets contaminated, our partners have developed innovative ways to spread health education – including a circus that performs across Somaliland and teaches children.

In Somaliland’s cities, tens of thousands of people live in makeshift camps for displaced people. Many have fled the ongoing conflict in other parts of Somalia for the relative safety of Somaliland, while others have left their drought-hit villages to try and find food and water. Our local partners have set up several kilometres of water systems and pipes in the camps.

In parts of south central Somalia and the Lower Juba region – where the drought is at its worst and the conflict makes access for international aid agencies extremely dangerous – local Oxfam partners are trucking in water and working to keep animals healthy. In Mogadishu, the capital, we support feeding centres for thousands of malnourished children, and provide life-saving equipment such as water, beds and X-ray machines to Somalia’s only functioning children’s hospital.

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