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Thanks to a decent harvest and a strong response from the international humanitarian community, the United Nations declared an end to famine in southern Somalia in early 2012. More than two million people are currently food insecure, down by about 17 percent from early 2012 estimates.

But conditions are still touch-and-go in this arid, conflict-torn country – one of the poorest in the world. If people cannot produce and sell their own food and have the wherewithal to withstand shocks, gains made in improving their food and nutrition security could slip away with the next disaster.

Getting people back on their feet

Most people in Somalia rely on farming and livestock for their food and income, but drought, conflict, displacement, disease and environmental degradation have wiped out many Somalis’ ability to earn a living. One missed planting season or the loss of livestock will push most families deeper into poverty and hunger. That is why FAO Somalia is using cash transfer initiatives in the country’s most vulnerable communities while working to help Somali farmers prepare and sow their fields ahead of the rains, providing them with improved seeds, fertilizers and technical support to boost yields. Likewise, FAO Somalia is vaccinating livestock and ramping up animal health services and disease surveillance and monitoring.

Win-win situation

The combination of high food prices and reduced incomes has hit Somali families hard, but FAO Somalia is working to restore incomes and build stronger local economies. One way is through cash-for-work schemes, which provide vulnerable families with daily wages in exchange for work on community infrastructure – from building feeder roads for easier market access to digging catchments for drinking water and canals for crop irrigation.

Timely information key

Having access to accurate and timely information before, during and after a disaster is essential for quick decision-making. FAO manages the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, which provides evidence-based analysis of Somali food, nutrition and livelihood security. This analysis helps inform emergency responses but also longer-term planning aimed at making Somali communities more resilient to drought and other shocks.


More about the country

 - FAO and Puntland authorities have launched the first database for Somali fishermen in decades aimed at improving management of fisheries in the Indian Ocean and the more
 - For the first time, Somali farmers are turning themselves into suppliers of high-quality food assistance for their fellow Somali people. A new initiative backed by the more
 - Successive seasons of near to above average rainfall in most parts of Somalia, low food prices and continued humanitarian response have brought down the number more
 - To recover and strengthen the fishing-based livelihoods of families affected by the 2004 tsunami in three communities of the Puntland region: Tohin, Hurdiya and Eyl.
 - On 10 November 2013, the coast of the Puntland region of Somalia was hit by a tropical cyclone causing heavy rainfall and flash floods. FAO Somalia’s more
 - The investment by the United Kingdom in one of the biggest and most modern slaughterhouses in Somalia will significantly contribute towards improving Somalia's ailing meat industry, more
 - Shortly after the devastating cyclone hit parts of northern Somalia, the extent of its impact is beginning to emerge with about 100 people feared dead and more
 - In a bid to continue guiding decision-making using life-saving food security information on Somalia, the European Commission (EC) has boosted the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization more
 - To improve the environment for economic activity and employment in Somalia.
 - Protéger les ressources de l'élevage et renforcer la résilience des communautés victimes de la sécheresse dans les régions du sud de la Somalie.