USAID/OFDA provided life-saving nutrition assistance during the 2011 drought crisis.
USAID/OFDA provided life-saving nutrition assistance during the 2011 drought crisis.
Nancy Lindborg/USAID


Latest Somalia Fact Sheet

Key Developments

Food security conditions in Somalia have deteriorated since early 2015, with approximately 855,000 people experiencing Crisis or Emergency—Integrated Food Security Phase Classification 3 or 4—levels of food insecurity as of August, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

The El Niño climatic event will likely have a mixed effect on Somalia’s humanitarian situation in the coming months, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports. While the early cessation of the April-to-June gu rains decreased food security in some areas, above-average October-to-December deyr rainfall attributable to El Niño may improve crop and pasture development. El Niño-associated rainfall may also result in severe flooding in southern regions, and exacerbate drought conditions in northwestern Somalia, according to the UN.

In FY 2015, the U.S. government provided more than $204 million in humanitarian assistance to Somalia, allowing partners to provide emergency food assistance; healthcare services; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions, among other lifesaving activities.


Since 1991, Somalia has experienced a persistent complex emergency due to chronic food insecurity, widespread violence, and recurrent droughts and floods. The 2011 drought—widely regarded as the country’s worst in 60 years—severely deteriorated food security among pastoralists and populations in marginal farming areas, resulting in famine in areas of Bay, Bakool, and Lower and Middle Shabelle regions, as well as among internally displaced persons in Mogadishu and the nearby Afgooye corridor.

Despite improvements in recent months, malnutrition rates remain among the highest in the world, and ongoing insecurity in parts of southern and central Somalia—particularly in areas lacking established local authorities and where al-Shabaab is present—contributes to the complex emergency in Somalia.


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Last updated: October 22, 2015

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