Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Somalia

April 6, 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 2.9 million people in Somalia are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity through June 2017.  An additional 3.3 million people face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity, bringing the total acutely food insecure population to over 6.2 million people--or more than 50 percent of the total population.  In a worst-case scenario where the 2017 April-to-June gu season performs poorly (as currently forecast), purchasing power continues to decline and humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need, some populations will face Famine (IPC Phase 5). 

Following a poor 2016 gu season, the 2016 October-to-December deyr rains performed much below average and the deyr harvest is estimated to be 70 percent below average, adversely impacting poor households in agropastoral and riverine areas of southern Somalia.  Atypical livestock deaths and drought-related migration have been reported in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas.  The regions of greatest concern are parts of Bari, Sanaag, and Sool regions, Bay region, and parts of Bakool region, as well as internally displace people (IDPs) in Mogadishu, Kismayo, and other towns.  Levels of acute malnutrition have also increased since July 2016, with an estimated 363,000 children younger than five years of age acutely malnourished, including 71,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, an increase of 42 percent from 50,000 children in 2016. 

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 57,000 Somalis having returned since December 2014.  Humanitarian actors are working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Government of Kenya and the Federal Government of Somalia to coordinate logistics and to ensure a voluntary, safe and dignified return for all refugees.

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, and food vouchers. Through the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), FFP also provides in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) for treatment of severe acute malnutrition.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S.Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2017 $123.2 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 $60.0 million 37,140 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $63.2 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: April 06, 2017

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