Somalia remains one of the most severe areas of humanitarian crises with more than 3.2 million people, or 40 percent of its population, dependent on international aid. With a nominal government and security limited to enclaves in Mogadishu and refugee camps, anarchy and fighting among warlords continues to be the norm.
Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Somalia, is concerned about the inability of the UN to raise enough money for critical areas for basic food, water, health, and sanitation to support residents living with severe malnutrition, loss of livestock, and livelihood. This year only 56 percent of the needed $600 million has so far been received by his agency. There are an estimated 1.4 million internally displaced people, 595,000 living as refugees in other countries in other countries, and many more unable to survive on their own where they live. One bright spot has been a decrease in polio and disease due to programs for vaccinations and cleaner drinking water.
Although the flow of refugees is down from last year, general insecurity and war prevail in large portions of the country. One refugee spoke of 12 different security checkpoints manned by different rebel or tribal groups on the road from Mogadishu to Bossaso in the North. After Iraq and Afghanistan, Somalia is the third largest source of refugees.