Somalia hopes to ensure that drought never turns to famine again

Somalia hopes to ensure that drought never turns to famine again

Somalia has launched a new humanitarian plan with the support of the United Nations that aims to ensure famine resistance.

The announcement comes one year after Somalia announced a national emergency due to drought. So far the country has avoided famine due to humanitarian action but the situation remains critical.

Currently over half of Somalis are still in need of humanitarian assistance and 2018 could mark the 5th consecutive poor rainy season, putting greater pressure on resources and exacerbating food insecurity.

The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit found that:

“In the absence of continued large-scale assistance, food security is expected to deteriorate through June 2018, as food and income sources decline further”.

Somalia has frequently experienced drought, food insecurity and famine in recent decades, with $4.5 billion being spent on emergency response since 2011.

There is a need to link this humanitarian assistance to longer term development plans through government, private sector and civil sector collaboration. It is these long term goals that will reduce vulnerability and insecurity.

“Ending need in Somalia can only be achieved if we respond to immediate humanitarian needs while simultaneously implementing longer-term solutions to build resilience” noted Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

The new ‘Resilience and Recovery Framework’ outlines plans for recovery and long term resistance to famine which are aimed at tackling the causes of Somalia’s recurring humanitarian crises.

Hassan Ali Khaire, President of Somalia emphasised his commitment to the plans saying:

“Somalia is turning over a new leaf in its history. Important and significant progress is being made on our peace- and state-building agenda. We are determined to overcome the challenges posed by recurring droughts that risk undermining these gains, and we count on our international partners to support us in this endeavor.”

Somalia led a Drought Impact Needs Assessment with the support of Federal Member States, the Banadir Regional Administration, the European Union, the World Bank and the UN.

The research was the first of its kind in Somalis and identified durable solutions that will foster greater levels of collaboration.

The Drought Impact Needs Assessment has informed the new Resilience and Recovery Framework and will allow the federal and regional governments to develop medium and long term development plans addressing the root cause of Somalia’s vulnerabilities.

Somalia’s Recovery and Resilience Framework marks a turning point for the country as it demonstrates a crucial step towards providing comprehensive policy making strategies and the financing of long term development.

Hassan Ali Khaire added: “Progress in the state-building and peace-building processes in Somalia since 2012 has now created conditions in which targeted efforts can be made to define and implement solutions so that Somalia’s citizens will hopefully not have to face the risk of famine again”


The topic of food security will be discussed at Aid & International Development Forum's Climate Smart Agriculture Summit being held on 15-16 May 2018. Click here to find out more about the summit.

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Image credit: UNDP

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