The health sector in Somalia was not receiving the funding needed, a senior health official at the WHO has warned. This situation prevails even though almost one in four Somali children under five is suffering from acute malnutrition.
"The health sector is completely underfunded," said Eric Laroche, who is WHO assistant director general of the cluster on health action in crises.
"This year is probably of all the 18 last years of humanitarian crises the worst year and for the time being in health, it's the worst funded for all the activities. This is not normal at all," he added.
Somalia has one of the worst child and maternal health in the world, with a under five mortality rate of 142 per 1,000 children, according to WHO data.
Maternal mortality is also "extremely high," said the WHO, as 1,400 mothers die in every 100,000 births.
Some 39 million dollars is required to fund the health sector in Somalia, but almost a month before the end of the year, only 37 percent of the sum has been received, said Laroche.
In 2008, 55 million dollars in funding was sought, and 44 percent covered.
The humanitarian situation in Somalia has deteriorated sharply in 2009 amid fighting in Mogadishu and other parts of south-central Somali.
Some 3.64 million people across the country are in need of aid relief, and 1.55 million have been displaced, according to the WHO.