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Somalia's food insecurity worsens in 2023 due to conflict and severe droughts, says Action Against Hunger

Tuesday July 9, 2024

Action Against Hunger workers engage with a Somali family at a displacement camp in Somalia. (Photo courtesy of Action Against Hunger)

Mogadishu (HOL) — Somalia is facing a worsening hunger crisis driven by conflict, climate change, and economic instability, according to Action Against Hunger's 2023 Global Impact Report. The report reveals significant increases in emergency interventions and highlights Somalia as one of the hardest-hit nations in the Horn of Africa region.

Action Against Hunger's 2023 Global Impact Report highlights an alarming escalation in hunger and malnutrition in Somalia, driven by persistent conflict, severe droughts, and economic challenges. The report indicates a significant rise in food insecurity, with Somalia being one of the hardest-hit nations.

In 2023, Action Against Hunger assisted over 21 million people globally, with a significant portion of its efforts concentrated in Somalia and neighbouring countries. "Conflict remains the main driver of food crises," the report states, noting that Somalia's ongoing violence has severely disrupted food production and access. The country has also been hit by one of the worst droughts in decades, decimating crops and livestock, which are vital for the livelihood of millions of Somalis.

Economic instability is also a critical factor in worsening the hunger crisis. Inflation has skyrocketed, making it increasingly difficult for families to afford basic necessities. "There has been a 50 percent increase in fuel cost alongside rising prices for essential programmatic supplies, such as seeds and fertilizer," the report notes.

"Somalia is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe," says Dr. Fatima Ibrahim, a regional director at Action Against Hunger. "The convergence of conflict, climate change, and economic instability is creating a perfect storm of hunger and malnutrition."

The report provides stark statistics: 45 million children under five are food insecure globally, and Somalia's contribution to these figures is significant. In 2023, Action Against Hunger treated over 700,000 children for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) across its programs.

Somalia's hunger crisis is not new but has intensified in recent years. Historical data show that cyclical droughts and ongoing conflict have repeatedly pushed the nation to the brink of famine. Previous studies by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) have consistently placed large swathes of Somalia in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity.

The report's findings are consistent with broader trends observed across the Horn of Africa. Neighbouring countries like Ethiopia and South Sudan also face severe hunger crises driven by similar factors. The regional impact of climate change, in particular, has been devastating, with erratic weather patterns leading to prolonged droughts and floods.


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