Somalia Food Insecutiy
USAID is providing life-saving humanitarian assistance for people affected by Somalia's severe food insecurity crisis.

Latest Horn of Africa Fact Sheet

view text version [pdf, 391kb]

Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to the complex emergency in the Horn of Africa region, including in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia.

On July 8, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced nearly $639 million in new humanitarian funding to support emergency response activities in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen—the four conflict-affected countries facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition crises—as well as neighboring countries hosting refugees fleeing those crises. The new funding includes nearly $126 million in new humanitarian assistance for drought- and conflict-affected Somalis, which brings the total U.S. Government humanitarian assistance for Somalia to nearly $336.7 million to date in FY 2017.

Response stakeholders continue to highlight concerns regarding deteriorating nutrition conditions in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Nutrition actors in Somalia have admitted approximately 126,000 severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases to date in 2017, including approximately 25,000 new cases admitted in June. In addition, nutrition actors in Ethiopia reported nearly 110,700 SAM admissions between January and April—marking a 125 percent increase from the same period in 2016—and nutrition actors in Kenya reported nearly 43,600 SAM admissions between January and May.

Approximately 761,000 people in Somalia were displaced by drought between November 2016 and June 2017, the UN reports. The total includes an estimated 13,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who arrived in Bay Region’s Baidoa town between June 1 and 23, primarily from remote villages in Bay and neighboring Bakool Region’s Rabdhure District. Primary needs among the newly arrived IDPs include emergency food and shelter assistance and access to safe drinking water, according to the UN.

Between June 19 and 23, staff from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance traveled to northern Kenya’s Marsabit and Turkana counties—where nutrition actors have identified pockets of malnutrition exceeding 30 percent, more than twice the UN World Health Organization emergency threshold—to evaluate humanitarian response activities and remaining needs.

Please visit our Horn of Africa web page for additional information.


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.


Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: July 18, 2017

Share This Page