FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York

Press briefing from New York on the food insecurity situation in Somalia – FAO Representative in Somalia, Etienne Peterschmitt, to brief reporters

Virtual Event, 14/10/2022


Friday, 14 October | 12:00 PM (EST)

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Unprecedented levels of drought in Somalia, alongside skyrocketing food prices, conflict, and COVID-19 have forced over a million people – predominantly women and girls – from their homes, their lands, their entire way of being and into camps. They face enormous protection risks in these camps and have to rely on external assistance to meet every single need – water, food, health care, shelter. Against this urgent backdrop, farmers and pastoralists are amongst those at highest risk of famine having lost their livelihood assets and exhausted their coping strategies.

Despite its critical importance to survival, livelihood support is hugely underfunded in the ongoing humanitarian response, and hard-to-reach rural people are suffering the most. For instance, FAO estimates that every $1 invested in protecting rural livelihoods saves around $10 in food-related assistance for displaced families. 

The number of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance has increased from 4.1 million at the start of 2022 to 7.1 million people between June and September 2022. FAO reached 333 661 households between January and August this year with lifesaving cash and livelihood assistance, but the scale of assistance currently being delivered and funding from the international community is not yet sufficient to protect those most at risk, and the window of opportunity to prevent famine is rapidly closing.