The challenges and our response
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 over 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.
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 (IPC4). In addition, we provide health and nutrition screening, in addition to water and sanitation (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 life-saving care. We also run a 54-bed stabilisation centre that provides 24-hour care for severely malnourished children with medical complications at Galkayo South Hospital.
In Mogadishu, International Medical Corps is providing primary health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in two displacement settlements. This includes screening for acute malnutrition as well as community education, healthy infant and young child feeding practices and food rations.
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 support. 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 populations (IDPs) fleeing conflict.
Nutrition and Secondary Health Care: International Medical Corps provides Somalis with health care 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 health care services and water, sanitation and hygiene (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 health care 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 (OTP) and an in-patient stabilization centre (SC).
In Jowhar, with funding from ECHO, we support a 42-bed maternity hospital, four health centres and six primary care health units. In Mogadishu we support two health centres located within IDP camps, while in Baidoa, we support one health centre. These health facilities provide nutrition services, integrated health care services, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to the most vulnerable communities. In addition, we support 14 mobile medical teams that serve difficult-to-reach communities.
International Medical Corps has also partnered with UNICEF to establish mother-to-mother and father-to-father care groups and help communities manage and prevent malnutrition by improving the knowledge and the practice of good child health, nutrition and WASH behaviour.
Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs): International Medical Corps provides routine and emergency health care to internally displaced groups 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, over-crowded IDP settlements.
Protection: International Medical Corps offers medical care to survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), including rape, management female genital mutilation (FGM) and treatment for physical violence at all health centres. 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 (CSGs) comprised of respected local people who are well-placed to provide basic psychosocial first aid (PFA), lead community discussions on GBV mitigation, as well as 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, participate in skill-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 health care. We focus on the following key areas: access to safe, clean water, provision and improvement of sanitation facilities and promotion of 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 on hand-washing, hygienic latrine usage, safe-water chains and solid waste disposal. In Jowhar and Galkayo, we are building ventilated improved pit latrines to serve internally displaced persons at the camps. We also rehabilitate shallow wells to provide safe drinking water to the community as well as distributing hygiene kits that contain household water treatment supplies.