• Crisis Severity ?
    4.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.8
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    3.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 15,736,000 People affected [?]
  • 3,732,000 People displaced [?]
  • 7,736,000 People in Need [?]

Overview

23/12/2021

There are 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.?The country also has a high number of IDPs and refugees who have left the country, with more than 3.7 million who have been displaced by conflict, insecurity, forced evictions, droughts, and floods.?Clan disputes, protests, the weakness of the national forces, the gradual withdrawal of the African Union Mission in Somalia, Islamic State and continuing Al Shabaab attacks cause insecurity and instability across Somalia. ?

The insecurity, along with displacement and limited WASH interventions, has complicated the health crisis. Essential primary healthcare is largely unavailable. Vulnerable groups include female-headed households, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and marginalised communities. 4 million people are estimated in need of protection.? There are around 25,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered in Somalia, mainly from Ethiopia.? 

INFORM measures Somalia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 8.8/10.?

Latest Developments

13/01/2022

No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Humanitarian Access

07/12/2021

very high constraints

The unstable political situation and complex conflict dynamics complicate humanitarian operations in Somalia. Conflict driven by interclan rivalry and attacks by Al-Shabaab and militia groups such as Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a has continued throughout Somalia in the past six months. Conflict often leads to the displacement of people and sometimes hinders their access to humanitarian aid. It also makes travel in certain areas dangerous for both civilians and humanitarians.

There are considerable administrative and bureaucratic barriers to humanitarian operations because the extent of the Federal Government’s control and influence varies across regions. Humanitarian organisations often have to negotiate with different authorities to access affected areas. Checkpoints that slow down the transportation of aid cargo are present throughout the Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Puntland, and South West states. In some instances, armed actors in different localised conflict situations impose restrictions on road travel, affecting humanitarian operations in these areas.

Humanitarian access in Somalia has improved slightly since July 2021. While the Deyr seasonal rains (October–December) are underway, they have not resulted in disruptive floods like the earlier Gu seasonal rains (April– June). Violent attacks against aid workers from July–October 2021 also decreased compared to the first half of the year.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Risk

Conflict in Mogadishu between pro-government and pro-opposition military forces and increased Al-Shabaab attacks result in displacement and humanitarian access constraints Latest update: 26/10/2021

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

Rationale

In Somalia, failure to hold general elections by February 2021 resulted in disagreements between the Government and the opposition. In April 2021, the Somali Federal Parliament extended President Farmaajo’s term by two years, which led to armed conflict in the capital, Mogadishu, between pro-government and pro-opposition military forces. Inter-clan tensions have historically been a significant issue in Somalia, affecting the cohesion of the Somali army, particularly in periods of political instability?.

After repeated failed attempts, negotiations around the electoral process led by Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble resulted in the scheduling of parliamentary elections for October–November 2021. It is unclear when the presidential elections will be conducted. Meanwhile, the opposition leaders’ distrust of the President has increased?. Since 5 September, a serious rift developed between the President and Prime Minister over the replacement of the head of the National Intelligence Security Agency. This incident has further polarised the country and raised political tensions to a level last witnessed in April 2021. Since the Prime Minister has been spearheading the electoral process, this new political crisis could be a severe setback to the parliamentary elections. There is also a risk of the President staying in office long past his mandated term, leading to further resentment among the opposition.

A possible political stalemate also risks affecting the functioning of security institutions. Coupled with a lack of cohesion within the army, this will likely result in increased insecurity across the country, with armed groups potentially intensifying fighting and gaining more territorial control. Al-Shabaab has already increased its attacks countrywide as part of an attempt to derail the electoral process. From January–September 2021, the group carried out at least 287 attacks in Mogadishu – a 32% increase compared to the same period in 2020. These attacks may continue to escalate as elections are repeatedly delayed, and factions of the army could clash again in Mogadishu?.

Impact

Potential renewed armed conflict in Mogadishu is likely to have a similar impact to the April 2021 conflict. The impact could be much higher if the conflict continues for longer than in April 2021, which lasted ten days. The entire population of Mogadishu likely will be affected in varying degrees. Armed conflict is also likely to lead to the displacement of at least 200,0004 people, either internally or across borders to Kenya or Ethiopia. Overcrowding and poor sanitation are significant challenges in Mogadishu IDP camps because of the many IDPs and the lack of WASH infrastructure. Any newly displaced person would experience similar conditions and potentially be exposed to COVID-19 and waterborne diseases. Conflict in Mogadishu would disrupt economic activities and livelihoods. This would add to the impacts of multiple natural hazards (such as drought and floods) on Mogadishu and the rest of the country, resulting in the deterioration of the affected population’s coping capacity. Increased Al-Shabaab attacks and counterattacks by security forces are likely to increase human rights violations and abuses against civilians, including kidnapping and conflict-related sexual violence. In the event of increased attacks, or if soldiers allied to different political actors take over areas of Mogadishu, insecurity and bureaucratic impediments likely would significantly restrict humanitarian access. Many vital roads within and to/from the city could be sealed off, further hampering access. This would potentially leave the IDP population in Mogadishu, which is close to 848,0005 , without humanitarian assistance?.

Note: This risk was initially identified by ACAPS in September 2021. At time of publication new significant political developments occurred in the country, which are not captured in the original narrative. On 21/22 October, President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Roble held meetings and reached a truce. They settled their differences after mediation by other Somali leaders and the international community. This makes the probability of the hazard materialising Low (initially set at Medium) and potentially change the expected humanitarian impact?.

Read this risk

Key Priorities

13/01/2022

Food security: Food security is deteriorating throughout Somalia, and drought conditions are expected to persist until early 2022. 3.5 million people are estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) conditions between October–December 2021. Food insecurity caused by droughts has resulted in 48% of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition. The key drivers of food insecurity are conflict, flooding, and below-average rainfall. The risk of desert locust swarms destroying crops and pasture remains. Forecasts indicate that the 2021 Deyr rainy season (October–December) may be below average, which would further affect food security.  ?

Health: At least 6.5 million people in Somalia require lifesaving essential healthcare and nutrition services. Excess mortality and increased morbidity continue to be driven by malnutrition, disease outbreaks (COVID-19, cholera, measles, malaria), and conflict. There is limited access to healthcare, with only 19% of districts in Somalia having adequate healthcare facilities. Secondary healthcare facilities, which at times are needed to respond to complicated medical cases, are all located in urban centres.?

Shelter/NFIs: Shelter and NFI needs are high, especially for IDPs, refugee returnees, refugees, and asylum seekers. Many IDP households decide to live in informal settings because of overcrowding in official camps. Makeshift shelters, however, do not provide adequate privacy nor protection against bad weather conditions. These shelters are often set up on private land, putting IDPs at risk of eviction. Priority NFI needs include blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, solar lamps, and kitchen utensils.?