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Somalia faces catastrophic hunger, with the country devastated by the extreme drought in the Horn of Africa. A total of 6.5 million people face acute food insecurity amid the driest conditions in 40 years. Drought is compounding other recurrent climate shocks, persistent insecurity and instability.

A total of 1.84 million children under 5 face acute malnutrition. A total of 478,000 of these face severe malnutrition and may be at risk of dying unless they receive immediate treatment. Huge numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes, with over 1.5 million drought-driven displacements since the start of the climate crisis. 

If the March to June rainy season also fails, purchasing power continues to decline and humanitarian relief does not reach those most in need, the risk of famine will continue to loom over some areas of Somalia. The last famine, declared in 2011, killed a quarter of a million people. 

In the face of this crisis, WFP expanded its emergency food and nutrition response to reach a record number of over 4 million people by the end of February. However, a funding of US$407 million for life-saving programmes means that WFP will struggle to sustain this scale-up. 

What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Somalia emergency

Crisis response
WFP, the largest humanitarian agency in Somalia, saves lives by providing food and nutrition assistance to people in crisis. WFP works both directly and through over 100 partners, even in areas where insecurity makes access challenging. Somalia is also home to WFP’s largest use of anticipatory action in Africa, helping drought-affected households to prepare for a potential fourth poor rainy season with cash transfers and an information campaign.
WFP changes lives in Somalia by helping to build sustainable, long-term resilience at community, state and national level against recurrent shocks like drought and flooding. This includes working with the Government to implement social protection programmes; strengthening climate-smart food systems (for example by training smallholder farmers and linking them to new markets); and developing the capacity of national institutions to sustainably address hunger.
Government and UN integration
WFP works with all levels of government in alignment with Somalia’s Ninth National Development Plan, the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, and the Humanitarian Response Plan. One example is WFP’s support for Baxnaano, a government-owned national safety net. WFP’s work is integrated with the broader United Nations, including joint programming with the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

How you can help

WFP urgently needs US$407 million for its emergency food and nutrition response.
Donate now