Somalia

Somalia

In the past

Read more about FAO in emergencies and the the drought in the Horn of Africa

Poor rains and extended drought over multiple seasons have had a major impact on rural livelihoods and food security in Somalia, pushing the country to the brink of famine, just five years after the crisis of 2011 that claimed the lives of over a quarter of a million people.

Over half of the country’s population -- 6.7 million people –are now acutely food insecure (IPC 2,3 and 4). That is up from 6.2 million in February. Of these, 3.2 million are coping with severe food insecurity (IPC Phases 3 and 4). Food insecurity is particularly intense in rural areas: 68 percent (2.2 million) of all people in IPC 3 & 4 are rural farmers and pastoralists; 9 out of 10 people at greatest risk – IPC 4, the brink of famine –-are rural.

The April rains that each year support Somalia’s main Gu growing season and rejuvenate pastoral lands have now started – but they started late and rainfall has been below average in many places. Meanwhile, displacement, disease and compounding needs are causing food security to further deteriorate. The situation is dire. The risk of famine persists.

large-scale humanitarian surge has managed to hold the line so far through a combination of interventions but needs are growing. Livelihoods are people’s best defense against famine in rural areas. FAO is helping the most at-risk rural families meet their immediate food requirements through cash transfers while giving them the means to continue farming, raising their animals, and producing the food they need to survive the crisis.

These interventions also help mitigate displacement pressures, reduce the overall humanitarian burden, and lay the groundwork for future recovery.

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