About the Crisis in Somalia
Somalia is already facing a fragile food security situation due to previous drought and famine.
The crisis in Somalia is the result of rapid shifts from drought to flooding, as well as violence and conflict. Consecutive years of poor rains and harvests have decimated crops across Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Families are dying not only from starvation, but also from diseases such as cholera and measles because they lack clean water and sanitation. More than half of the population live below the poverty line, making them even more vulnerable to climate shifts.
In Somalia, 4.8 million people remain food insecure, including more than 180,000 severely malnourished children under the age of five. About 2.6 million people remain displaced as vulnerable families leave their rural homes in search of food in cities like Mogadishu and Galkayo.
Famine was last declared in Somalia six years ago, and more than 260,000 people died – more than half of them children. Nearly half of the deaths occurred before the famine was even declared. It’s expected that the current drought will be worse than in 2011. Three-quarters of the country’s livestock have already died. Goats, camels and crops are Somalis’ bank accounts and farmers have seen their farms go dry and their animals die of hunger and disease in front of them. Cereal production has dropped by 70 percent, and prices are skyrocketing.
Malnutrition and drought-related diseases such as acute watery diarrhea (AWD)/cholera are rising. Some 11,000 cases and 269 deaths were reported between January and February 2017.