Combatting drought and food insecurity in Somalia

Nearly 1 million people in Somalia were reported to be in need of life-saving help in 2014, 300,000 of whom were malnourished children.

Exacerbating the food situation, Somalia was also dealing with military offensives and threats from insurgents.

The UNHCR estimated that 50,000 people were internally displaced in the first quarter of 2014 alone, with the total figure standing at approximately 1.1 million. The crisis in Somalia is multi-faceted, with each region struggling with its own issues.

ACT response

ACT members undertook assessments in different areas to prioritise the specific needs of the regions. They found that decreased food security was being caused by conflict and the destruction of valuable resources; the erosion of livestock due to lack of water and unprecedented natural disasters, crop failures because of acute water shortages, and high food prices that made it impossible for people living in extreme poverty to eat properly.

It has been a challenge to assist those in need in Somalia. Attempts to aid people were hindered in areas of conflict, where initiatives were sabotaged. Despite the difficulties, there were real achievements in addressing basic food, water and sanitation needs of displaced people and vulnerable host households. These were thanks to well-organised efforts where ACT assisted drought-affected populations in the southern and central parts of Somalia and the Dadaab refugee camp.