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

Key Developments

Drought has left nearly 8 million people across Somalia in urgent need of humanitarian food assistance. Populations in two districts of Somalia's Bay Region are projected to face Famine between October and December if an urgent increase in assistance does not reach individuals most in need. Humanitarian actors, including partners of USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance have rapidly increased response efforts to mitigate the worst outcomes, but needs have outpaced current levels of aid.

In response to elevated needs and to mitigate funding shortfalls, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced more than $151 million in additional funding for programs in Somalia on September 21. The new contribution includes $146.5 million in emergency funding and nearly $5 million in early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience (ER4) funding. The emergency funding will support the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to approximately 3.6 million people for an additional two and a half months. Overall, WFP aims to increase its reach to provide cash and in-kind food assistance to as many as 4.5 million people between October and December.


Persistent food insecurity, widespread violence, and protracted population displacement, as well as recurrent droughts and floods, have adversely affected Somalia since 1991. The current conflict—primarily related to al-Shabaab (AS) attacks and resultant military operations, as well as intercommunal violence—continues to restrict trade and market activities while contributing to further population displacement and food insecurity. Attacks against civilians and aid workers also disrupt livelihoods and hinder humanitarian response activities, particularly in areas that lack established local authorities and where AS is present. Sustained life-saving assistance, coupled with interventions aimed at building resilience, is critical to help vulnerable households meet basic needs, reduce acute malnutrition, rebuild assets, and protect livelihoods.

Moreover, a fourth consecutive season of poor rainfall in 2022 has intensified drought conditions across Somalia, generating extensive livestock losses, food insecurity, and severe water shortages. Recurrent drought conditions have amplified conflict-derived humanitarian needs in Somalia, and IDPs and other vulnerable populations remain particularly susceptible to cyclical climatic shocks.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: November 18, 2022

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