Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Somalia

May 25, 2017

Food Security Situation

Map of Somalia
CIA World Factbook

Most areas of Somalia are facing serious drought conditions due to consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, resulting in a rapid and severe worsening of food insecurity.  According to a recent joint analysis from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) and the UN Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), more than 3.2 million people in Somalia are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity through June 2017, including nearly 700,000 people experiencing Emergency-level acute food insecurity.  An additional 3.5 million people face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity, bringing the total acutely food insecure population to 6.7 million people--or more than 50 percent of the total population.  While large-scale humanitarian assistance in recent months has reduced food consumption gaps and stabilized food prices, an elevated risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) remains. 

Following poor 2016 gu and deyr rainy seasons, the 2017 April-to-June 2017 gu rains began late and have been below-average across most of Somalia, slowing the regeneration of pasture and water sources and adversely impacting rainfed crop production. The upcoming gu harvest is estimated to be 40-60 percent below average and according to field reports, households in northern and central areas have lost 40-60 percent of livestock since 2016. Continued, large-scale humanitarian assistance will remain necessary throughout 2017 and pastoral households in particular will take multiple seasons to recover. There have been over 683,000 people displaced by drought since November 2016 as Somalis move from rural to urban areas in search of assistance. The number of children expected to face acute malnutrition in 2017 is now 1.4 million, a 50 percent increase since the beginning of the year, including over 376,000 children who will face severe acute malnutrition.  

Resource constraints, persistent insecurity and restricted humanitarian access continue to create challenges to delivering assistance in Somalia. Additionally, humanitarian actors continue to monitor Somali refugee returns from Dadaab camp complex in Kenya, with more than 63,500 Somalis having returned since December 2014.  The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently issued an supplementary appeal for the Somalia situation, requesting an additional $91 million to support safe, dignified, and voluntary returns as well as support for internally displaced persons (IDPs). 

Food Assistance Programs

The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food-insecure Somali households and IDP populations countrywide with emergency food and nutrition assistance. FFP partners with the UN World Food Program, other public international organizations, and non-governmental organizations on relief, nutrition, livelihoods, social safety net, and resilience-oriented activities. These activities include in-kind food assistance as well as cash- and market-based interventions such as cash transfers, cash-for-work activities, food vouchers, and vocational training. Through the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), FFP also provides in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) for treatment of severe acute malnutrition, as well as support for enhanced bottleneck analysis, nutrition supply chain integration into health systems, and monitoring and evaluation.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S.Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2017 $128.8 million 37,140 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $71.0 million 20,080 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $111.3 million 40,655 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $127.5 million 53,601 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $77.0 million 38,570 MT

Fiscal Year 2017 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $65.2 million 37,140 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $63.6 million ----

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal–IPC 1–to Famine—IPC 5. 


Related Resources

Horn of Africa Complex Emergency Fact Sheet

Food for Peace Success Story - Building Resilience in Somalia (December 20, 2016)

Food for Peace Success Story - Confronting El Nino in Somalia (August 5, 2016)

Last updated: May 25, 2017

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