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Country analysis

Somalia


In Somalia, conflict and insecurity, climate events, disease outbreaks, and a stagnant economy have resulted in high humanitarian needs across the country. In 2024, around 6.9 million people are projected to need humanitarian assistance, an improvement from the 8.25 million estimated in 2023.

The decrease is primarily attributed to the end of drought, which peaked in the second half of 2022, affecting 7.8 million people and internally displacing 1.75 million from 2020 to 2023. In late 2023, flash floods and river overflows during a heavy Deyr season affected around 2.5 million people and displaced 1.2 million.

Since 2022, Somalia has been grappling with uninterrupted cholera transmission cases, mainly in some of the drought-affected districts. In 2023, over 18,300 suspected cases and 46 deaths were reported, with the majority being among children under five. Insufficient WASH infrastructure, inadequate health services, and high food insecurity and malnutrition levels drive the current outbreak.

The security situation remains fragile despite the peaceful transition of presidential power in May 2022, especially given renewed clashes between the Somali security forces and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, on the one hand, and Al-Shabaab, which controls parts of southern Somalia (particularly rural areas), on the other.

(WASH Cluster 19/01/2024, OCHA 29/01/2024, OCHA 27/12/2023, OCHA 08/02/2023)

In Somalia, conflict and insecurity, climate events, disease outbreaks, and a stagnant economy have resulted in high humanitarian needs across the country. In 2024, around 6.9 million people are projected to need humanitarian assistance, an improvement from the 8.25 million estimated in 2023.

The decrease is primarily attributed to the end of drought, which peaked in the second half of 2022, affecting 7.8 million people and internally displacing 1.75 million from 2020 to 2023. In late 2023, flash floods and river overflows during a heavy Deyr season affected around 2.5 million people and displaced 1.2 million.

Since 2022, Somalia has been grappling with uninterrupted cholera transmission cases, mainly in some of the drought-affected districts. In 2023, over 18,300 suspected cases and 46 deaths were reported, with the majority being among children under five. Insufficient WASH infrastructure, inadequate health services, and high food insecurity and malnutrition levels drive the current outbreak.

The security situation remains fragile despite the peaceful transition of presidential power in May 2022, especially given renewed clashes between the Somali security forces and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, on the one hand, and Al-Shabaab, which controls parts of southern Somalia (particularly rural areas), on the other.

(WASH Cluster 19/01/2024, OCHA 29/01/2024, OCHA 27/12/2023, OCHA 08/02/2023)

Latest updates on country situation

26 March 2024

Cholera cases in Somalia are on the rise, mainly affecting Hirshabelle, Puntland, and Southwest states. Since the beginning of 2024, reported cases have tripled compared to the previous three-year average. As at 18 March, there had been over 4,300 cases and 54 deaths reported in 32 districts since 1 January, resulting in a 1.2% case fatality rate, which is above the WHO emergency threshold. The outbreak, worsened by high child malnutrition rates, limited access to clean water, open defecation practices, and poor sanitation, poses a significant threat to communities. Despite efforts to respond to the crisis in affected areas, numerous challenges persist, including a shortage of skilled health workers, significant population movements, insufficient community awareness, inadequate infrastructure at treatment facilities, and a lack of funding. The upcoming Gu rainy season (April–June) may aggravate the situation further. (OCHA 25/03/2024, STC 21/03/2024, The Star 05/03/2024)

10 December 2023

As at 3 December 2023, the number of people affected by flooding from the Deyr seasonal rains had reached over 2.4 million across southern and central Somalia, with more than one million displaced. Humanitarian organisations are facing extreme access challenges in rural areas affected by the floods.
Besides shelter and food needs, health and WASH are some of the main concerns, with the risk of waterborne disease outbreaks in affected areas. (OCHA 03/12/2023, Nutrition Cluster 05/12/2023, Wash Cluster 05/12/2023)

09 November 2023

As at 8 November 2023, flooding from the seasonal Deyr rains (October–December) had affected over 1.17million people in 21 districts. The Federal Government of Somalia has declared a state of emergency as El Niño-fuelled rains intensify across Banadir, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Puntland, and Southwest states. The flooding has temporarily displaced over 310,000 people, with more than 1.6 million at risk of the impact of rising water levels. Disruptions to roads and bridges are constraining access, trapping over 2,400 people in Luuq district and more than 84,000 people in Baardheere from the main town. In Galmudug and Puntland, the flooding has affected more than 400 IDP sites, damaging shelters, latrines, and other infrastructure, and increased the need for emergency relief supplies, especially shelter and NFIs, food, WASH services, and emergency evacuations. (OCHA 09/11/2023, OCHA 06/11/2023)

17 October 2023

The 2023 Deyr rainy season (October–December), expected to cause above-average precipitation because of El Niño, has flooded parts of Somalia. By 4 October, flooding in Baidoa district (Southwest state) had affected 107,000 people. Floodwaters had damaged the shelters of 86,000 IDPs in 136 collective sites Baidoa city. 305 latrines had also sustained damage, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. Eight educational facilities had closed, affecting learning for 6,000 students. Mahady Weyne and Luuq have also experienced flooding. There is also a likelihood of continued riverine flooding along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers. Moderate to heavy rains are predicted over the Ethiopian highlands and river catchment areas, with soils along the river already saturated. Water levels along the Shabelle River have steadily surpassed the levels observed in 2022. About 1.2 million people living in riverine areas and over 1.5 million hectares of land could be affected. (OCHA 07/10/2023, FAO 12/10/2023, OCHA 12/10/2023)

28 September 2023

In July 2023, a confidential UN investigation found aid misuse and misappropriation by a network of landowners, clan leaders referred to as 'gatekeepers', police, and other local authorities in Somalia. This led to a temporary suspension of WFP funding by the European Commission in mid-September. Aid diversion was mostly recorded in Baidoa, Banadir, and Gaalkacyo, where IDPs mainly from minority clans were forced to pay gatekeepers a certain percentage of the aid they received in cash or aid products, which were then resold in markets. According to the UN investigation, aid diversion in Somalia was recurrent, widespread, and systemic. This occurred even when about 4.3 million people were expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse food insecurity levels and approximately 1.5 million under-five children were expected to be acutely malnourished until December 2023. (Devex 18/09/2023, Reuters 19/09/2023, IPC 18/09/2023)

18 July 2023

On 11 July, Al Shabaab imposed a blockade on Baidoa, restricting movement on roads to and from the town. Baidoa is the capital of South West state and Bay region's main economic hub.
The blockade affected economic activities and transportation services in Baidoa, limiting food supply and causing price increases of available stocks. Fuel shortages were also reported, limiting humanitarians' ability to reach people in need within the town. Humanitarian movement outside of Baidoa is also restricted because of the blockade, cutting off access of people in need who live outside the town from aid and assistance. As at early 2023, Baidoa hosts about 600,000 people displaced by drought and conflict.
The blockade is seen as a retaliation by Al Shabaab to the latest Somali Government's directives and counter-insurgency operations against the group. As at 18 July, the blockade is still in place.


(ECHO 13/07/2023, VoA 17/07/2023, Garowe online 18/07/2023)

26 May 2023

The Horn of Africa is facing a humanitarian crisis caused by climatic change and insecurity. The 2020–2022 drought displaced 2.7 million people and killed 13 million livestock. Deteriorating livelihoods, poor economic conditions, and insecurity are driving hunger, with more than 20 million people needing food assistance in Ethiopia, 1.2 million facing emergency levels of need in Kenya, and 6.6 million in Somalia anticipating Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse food insecurity levels in June 2023. Approximately 1.2 million children, including 528,000 in Ethiopia, 242,500 in Kenya, and 478,000 in Somalia, will suffer from severe acute malnutrition. In Somalia, acute food insecurity is projected to deteriorate through June 2023, bringing 40,350 people to Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food insecurity levels and facing starvation as a result of drought, high prices, and conflict. The 2023 humanitarian response is only 20% funded, with significant programming cuts expected. (OCHA 26/05/2023, DRC 21/05/2023, WFP 29/05/2023)

current crises
in Somalia


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

REG014 - Eastern Africa Regional Drought Crisis

Last updated 31/05/2024


Drivers

Drought

Crisis level

Regional

Severity level

4.4 Very High

Access constraints

5.0

SOM001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement
Floods
Drought

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.6 Very High

Access constraints

4.0

SOM002 - Mixed Migration

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

2 Low

Access constraints

4.0

Analysis products
on Somalia

Somalia: flooding in Baidoa

26 October 2023

Somalia: flooding in Baidoa

DOCUMENT / PDF / 2 MB

Heavy rains that began on 4 October 2023 have resulted in flash floods across Baidoa district, in Bay region, Southwest state, Somalia. The floods had affected more than 122,000 people (20,347 families) as at 23 October. The most affected regions are Baidoa city and the surrounding low-lying areas. 

Natural hazards
Somalia: risk of worsening existing humanitarian needs in conflict-affected areas

17 August 2023

Somalia: risk of worsening existing humanitarian needs in conflict-affected areas

DOCUMENT / PDF / 518 KB

This report provides a forward-looking analysis of the progressive withdrawal of the African Union Transition Mission, the transition of security operations to the Somali Security Forces (SSF), and how this will worsen existing humanitarian needs in conflictaffected areas.

Anticipatory analysisConflict and violence
Horn of Africa: Impact of drought on children

24 April 2023

Horn of Africa: Impact of drought on children

DOCUMENT / PDF / 5 MB

Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in 60 years. The current drought is driving significant levels not only of food insecurity but also of WASH, health, and nutrition needs for the affected population.

Natural hazards
Somalia: Key crises to watch in 2023

13 April 2023

Somalia: Key crises to watch in 2023

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

This report provides an overview of four key humanitarian crises across Somalia that are expected to deteriorate or see a significant humanitarian impact during 2023. It aims at informing humanitarian decision-making and programming by anticipating humanitarian needs in different regions of the country.

Somalia: impact of drought Banadir and Bay regions

27 January 2023

Somalia: impact of drought Banadir and Bay regions

DOCUMENT / PDF / 619 KB

This report provides an overview of the humanitarian needs resulting from the current drought in particularly affected regions of Somalia (Banadir and Bay). The report highlights key needs, the key population groups affected, coping mechanisms, compounding factors, access constraints, and response capacities for each area of focus.

Natural hazards
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