UNICEF, United Nations Children's Fund
This report highlights UNICEF’s response to the Horn of Africa crisis for the period July-December 2011. Following one of the worst droughts in recent memory, the Horn of Africa ended 2011 with marked improvements in a number of conditions underpinning the regional humanitarian crisis. The chronic and often acute vulnerability of these affected communities highlights the need for a sustained humanitarian response in 2012 which places resilience building and disaster risk reduction approaches at its center. As of the end of March 2012 over 8 million people remain in need of urgent humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa (compared to 13.3 million in July 2011), and nearly a third of Somalia’s population—some 2.51 million people—are still in acute humanitarian crisis, including more than 323,000 acutely malnourished children, 224,000 of them in southern and central regions. At the same time, over half a million Somali children and mothers now resident in refugee camps in neighbouring countries continue to require support. Interventions on nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, education and child protection must be accompanied by efforts to address the underlying development challenges and vulnerabilities that have placed children at such high risks of suffering.