Somalia 2017 - Saving livestock, saving livelihoods, saving lives

Somalia 2017 - Saving livestock, saving livelihoods, saving lives
Jun 2017

Three years of drought have taken a heavy toll on the rangelands and water supplies that Somalia’s 7+ million pastoralists rely on to keep their animals alive and healthy. Livestock are their most important possessions – trade items bartered for food and other essentials; high-value assets used as collateral; the source of daily dairy protein. But malnourished animals do not produce as much milk. They cannot be traded, or only traded for less. And even minor illnesses can kill livestock weakened by a lack of food and water. Losses of goats, camels, sheep and cattle in 2017 have ranged from 20-40 percent in the south and 40-60 percent in the north. When animals die or stop producing, people go hungry. When animals are lost, so are people’s livelihoods.

To keep livestock alive and producing, FAO is engaged in a massive animal treatment campaign, deploying 150 fast-moving teams of veterinarians across Somalia. Our goal: To provide simple and effective care to as many animals as possible as rapidly as possible. As conditions have warranted, we have also delivered large volumes of water to support people’s herds. Saving animals saves human lives and livelihoods.