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.


Somalia is experiencing a prolonged and complex crises characterised by conflict, displacement, drought and disease. Malnutrition rates are high: nearly one million children under the age of five are predicted to be acutely malnourished in 2019. 

The key drivers for this are lack of diverse diets, limited health services and inadequate access to water and sanitation. 

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. 

Somalia has been even further destabilised 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 under the control of Islamist militants, complicating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need.


People helped in 2018


Our teams are working in Puntland and the country's capital of Mogadishu. We're also working 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 drought are to provide lifesaving treatment for severely malnourished children and to protect the health of vulnerable pregnant women and nursing mothers.

In 2018 we: 

  • Treated 41,502 children under the age of five for malnutrition. A further 103,407 children were treated for minor illnesses
  • Provided training to 45,734 pregnant and lactating women
  • Reached 194,000 with our water, sanitation and hygiene programmes
  • Helped 194,008 with our food security and livelihoods programmes

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, we are the only organisation providing assistance to communities.

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Donate to the children in conflict appeal

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, Garowe, Huddur, Elberde, Wajid, Eyl, Bakool