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Impacting health through innovation. Somalia’s annual report, 2020.


The COVID-19 pandemic, as in many other countries in the world, has stalled and disrupted much of the routine and normative work that World Health Organization (WHO) country office intended to do in Somalia during 2020 in order to achieve its goal and realize the vision of ensuring health for all in the country. Owing to the protracted nature of the conflict in Somalia, little investment has been made in the country’s health system in the past. Like many other countries around the world, Somalia was not adequately prepared for a public health event of the scale and nature of a pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It was a test of country’s resilience and a test of WHO’s organizational ability to change forever by being more responsive, more accountable and more impactful. During the pandemic, the spotlight again focused on the need for sustaining and scaling up essential health services to reduce excess deaths and morbidities which could otherwise been attributed to COVID-19. The WHO country office’s Annual Report 2020 titled- “Impacting health through innovation” truly reflects the work of WHO in Somalia and its achievements to impact health outcome through innovation and timely action to respond to the pandemic, as well as other health emergencies occurring the same time. The report also highlights WHO’s continued and persistent effort to mitigate the secondary impact of COVID-19 on the fragile health systems of Somalia through supporting and sustaining essential health services including communicable disease control activities. This annual report provides a summary of the activities conducted in 2020 by the WHO country office in Somalia. The report is divided into five sections. The first section describes the activities undertaken by WHO for protecting the vulnerable against health emergencies in the country including activities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second section of this annual report provides reflections upon what WHO aimed to achieve in ensuring health for all in Somalia by preventing and mitigating the secondary impact of the pandemic. The third section outlines the activities implemented to safeguard the people against epidemic and high burden endemic diseases in Somalia. The fourth section showcases WHO’s work for strengthening collaboration and partnerships through its engagement with external partners and donors while the fifth and last section of this annual report for 2020 highlights WHO’s continued and persistent goal of achieving impact and efficiency through its business operations activities

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