Skip to main content

You are here


Somalia: 2.5 million people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance

27 Jun 2011


A small boy is held by his mother at the therapeutic feeding center of the MSF Holland hospital in Galcayo south, Puntland. Due to a severe drought this year, cases of malnutrition have risen in the last months. Credit: MSF/Siegfried Modola
Poor rainfall and lack of access have resulted in increased food insecurity in Somalia. The number of people in urgent need has now reached 2.5 million and is likely to increase in the coming months.

Somalia is now experiencing the worst situation in 10 years due to drought, food shortages, soaring food prices, and conflict. Two consecutive seasons of significantly below-average rainfall have resulted in poor harvest. Food prices in some parts of south Somalia are 200 percent higher than during the same period last year. The number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance is now 2.5 million, and in some parts of the south, 1 in 3 children is malnourished.

Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled to the neighboring countries of Kenya and Ethiopia for help. Worrying reports from refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia indicate that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates among refugees newly arrived from Somalia are as high as 45 percent, exceeding all emergency thresholds, and death rates are at emergency levels. As of 19 June, 54,700 Somalis were registered in Kenya this year, according to UNHCR.

While access to vulnerable people in the south remained difficult for humanitarian workers, humanitarian aid continues. According to the latest OCHA humanitarian bulletin, from 17-24 June, WFP delivered 325 metric tons of mixed food commodities to 52,000 people in the capital, Mogadishu. UNICEF has distributed 8,300 bags of nutrition supplies to 2,800 children in Afmadow and Jilib districts and 2,500 cartons of Plumpy Nut as well as essential drugs in Hiraan. It is also running Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) activities in Hiraan, Dolow, Luuq, and other places.

Construction and rehabilitation of boreholes and shallow wells, coordinated by UNICEF and the local NGO Jubaland Charity Center (JCC), are ongoing in the Middle Juba region. UNICEF is also leading the construction of some 500 household latrines and of toilets in schools and health facilities in this region. Boreholes and latrines are also being constructed in the Lower Juba region to assist 77,900 people.

WFP is now making efforts to secure funds to cover associated costs for a Brazilian in-kind contribution of 50,000 metric tons of maize and 15,000 metric tons of beans. So far, the US has confirmed US$14.5 million for ocean transport and another US$21 million has been secured from New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain, and CERF. These contributions will enable WFP to draw down approximately 29,000 metric tons of the Brazilian food. However, an additional US$20 million is needed to cover the remaining.

More>> OCHA Humanitarian Bulletin #25