Photo: WFP/Kabir Dhanji



people facing hunger


severely hungry children


internally displaced persons

The Situation

Over the past 20 years, Somalia has endured violence, political instability and environmental and economic shocks resulting in acute hunger and malnutrition. Most state services ceased in the 1990s, impacting education, health and food production. Famine was declared in 2011 — 285,000 lives were lost.

Since 2012, Somalia has slowly emerged from a “failed” to a “fragile” state with the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia. In 2013, the government and the international community endorsed the New Deal for Somalia, aiming to rebuild the country, stabilize institutions and develop the federal state. The achievements to date are mixed as many political, social and economic challenges remain.

After three consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, the country is once again seeing near total crop failure, widespread shortage of water and pasture, increased livestock deaths and continued increase in local cereal prices. Somalia is on the frontline of climate change and climate shocks further exacerbate the continuing hunger cost of conflict and political instability. Drought is driving a drastic spike in hunger in Somalia with almost a quarter of all Somalis now facing severe hunger.


WFP's Work

In 2015, WFP re-opened its Somalia office in Mogadishu for the first time in 20 years. WFP aims to address basic food needs, strengthen coping mechanisms and support the country’s efforts to achieve food security.

WFP remains concerned about the deepening hunger and nutrition crisis. Right now, the agency is scaling up its emergency operations to reach 2.1 million people by the end of 2021.

  • Providing lifesaving curative and preventive nutrition to children under age five and pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as targeted behavior change communication aimed at tackling the underlying causes of nutrition insecurity.
  • Providing food to the most vulnerable people in drought-affected areas of northern and south-central Somalia and, where markets are functioning, cash-based assistance in the form of food vouchers or e-cards.
  • Strengthening climate-smart food systems and supporting government to implement safety nets and other social protection programs.

Since 2015, WFP has used SCOPE in Somalia, a platform for electronic management of all types of assistance paired with biometric registration, enabling a faster response to changing needs.

Although food and cash are distributed in more places than before, access for aid agencies is limited to some of the worst-affected parts of Somalia. WFP is continuing to use planes, helicopters and other transportation to move emergency food for a rapid, comprehensive response. Since the beginning of the drought response, as of mid-August 2017, the agency has airlifted over 4 million pounds of food to various locations in southern Somalia.