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Somalia is suffering the effects of the 2020-2023 drought – its longest on record – compounded by conflict and now, in some areas, flash floods. By the middle of 2023, 6.6 million people were forecast to face crisis-level food insecurity or worse.

A total of 1.8 million children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2023, with 478,000 of them facing severe malnutrition and  possibly at risk of death unless they receive immediate treatment. Huge numbers of people have been forced to flee their homes, with 1.4 million internally displaced since the start of the year due to drought, flooding and conflict.

Famine was narrowly averted in 2022 due to an unprecedented scale-up of humanitarian assistance. However, significant funding cuts have since forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to almost halve its life-saving food assistance, which was down to 2.4 million people at the end of July 2023 – a 49 percent cut from 4.7 million people at the peak of the scale-up. If life-saving coverage cannot be restored, disaster could still be just around the corner. WFP is currently facing a US$332 million funding gap over the next six months.

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$332 million for its response in Somalia, to help those people most in need.
Donate now