In 2017, Somalia was declared to be in a state of pre-famine. The country is experiencing both severe drought and violent conflict from armed groups as multiple regions' political and security issues have badly deteriorated over the past few years.


Severe drought and conflict from armed groups are both driving a widespread, dangerous food crisis.


As of June 2017, Somalia is in a state of pre-famine. The country is experiencing both severe drought and violent conflict from armed groups, both of which are driving a widespread, dangerous food crisis. In 2011, when famine was officially declared under similar conditions, the world was too slow to respond and an estimated 250,000 people died. Today, 3 million people, one quarter of Somalia’s population, are experiencing acute food shortages at crisis or emergency levels and 363,000 children are suffering from malnutrition.

Gripped by recurring droughts, chronic food shortages, and over 20 years of nearly incessant conflict, Somalia is one of the most challenging environments in the world for humanitarian operations. The regional drought of late 2011 and early 2012 affected Somalia more than any other nation across eastern Africa, displacing millions and subjecting tens of thousands to famine in the hardest-hit regions. 

Somalia has been even further destabilized over the past few years as political tensions mount and security conditions deteriorate. Emergency humanitarian assistance is still critical in many parts of the country, despite the fact that a number of regions are now now under the control of Islamist militants, complicating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need


713, 033
People helped in 2017


Our teams are working in Puntland and in the capital of Mogadishu as well as in South Central Somalia, specifically the regions of Bakool, Nugaal, Benadir and Lower Shabelle to counter the threat of famine. 

Our top priorities for our emergency response to the crippling 2017 drought are to provide lifesaving treatment for severely malnourished children and to protect the health of vulnerable pregnant women and nursing mothers. In 2017 we were: 

  • Screening and treating 189,751 children and pregnant and breastfeeding women for acute malnutrition. 
  • Providing critical information to 55,972 caregivers of malnourished children on optimal infant and young child feeding practices.
  • Helping 112,540 vulnerable people access food and essential basic services during the severe drought through cash transfer programs, transferring more than $4 million to beneficiaries.
  • Supporting 204,691 men, women and children with critical water, sanitation, and hygiene programs.

We aim to scale up our response to reach more areas and meet the urgent needs of vulnerable populations closer to their homes. In some areas within Somalia, Action Against Hunger is the only organization providing assistance to communities.

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Children's lives at risk

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Photo credits: © Damien Guerchois


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Number of Staff
Operating since
Based in
Mogadishu, Garow, Huddur, El Barde, Wajid, Yeed, Rab-Dhuure