The Risk of Famine Facing Somalia: Need of Humanitarian Assistance

The Risk of Famine Facing Somalia: Need of Humanitarian Assistance
Photo by Ismail Salad Osman Hajji dirir from Unsplash


Beatrice Serra

International Justice and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

The climate change-driven crisis led the Government of Somalia to declare a National Emergency due to the Drought situation in May 2021. Extended drought, flooding, desert locust infestations, the economic impacts of COVID-19 and ongoing conflict, particularly in central and southern Somalia, have caused a severe humanitarian crisis in Somalia, with around 7.1 million people facing acute food insecurity, according to the WFP. While climate change continues to worsen the situation, the increase of food prices due to drought-induced livestock deaths and poor harvests, exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine, require a scale up in humanitarian assistance to avoid irreparable damage and suffering. (IFRC, 2021; FSNAU, 2022) 

In September 2022, the World Food Program (WFP) announced an unprecedented delivery of food aid in Somalia, aiming to reach 4.5 million in the coming months. The announcement comes after the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths expressed his concerns and shock for “the level of pain and suffering” he witnessed in Somalia. Speaking from the capital, Mogadishu, Mr. Griffiths warned the international community that “famine is at the door” with one and a half million children across Somalia at risk of acute malnutrition by October. (UN News, 2022) 

Sources and Further Readings:

The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU)(June 4, 2022), Somalia Updated IPC and Famine Risk Analysis Technical Release 4th June 2022, FSNAU, retrieved on September 6th, 2022, from

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (October 10, 2021), Somalia - Hunger Crisis 2021-2022, IFRC, retrieved on September 6th, 2022, from file:///C:/Users/39340/Downloads/MDRSO011eu1.pdf. 

United Nations (September 5, 2022), Somalia receiving unprecedented levels of food aid, with ‘famine at the door’, UN News, retrieved on September 6th, 2022, from

World Food Programme (WFP) (2022), Somalia,