Woman in Somalia washing her hands and practicing good hygiene after Action Against Hunger awareness raising following the Covid-19 pandemic


Somalia is experiencing a prolonged and complex crisis characterised by conflict, displacement, drought and disease.

Ongoing conflict, together with the devastating effects of the recent drought, floods and locust infestation have left many communities in Somalia even more vulnerable.

Malnutrition rates are high particularly among children. Key drivers of malnutrition are food insecurity, lack of diverse diets, limited health services and inadequate access to water and sanitation.

The influx of people from rural regions to urban areas puts a strain on already limited resources, while displaced populations face considerable challenges.

Country facts

  • 15.4m

    Somalia has a population of more than 15 million people.

  • 1m

    1 million children under five are acutely malnourished in Somalia.

  • 2.6m

    In Somalia, 2.6 million people are internally displaced.

Treating the early signs of malnutritionMohamed eats ready-to-use therapeutic food at an Action Against Hunger stabilisation centre in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Treating the early signs of malnutrition

After being admitted with malnutrition to an Action Against Hunger health centre in Mogadishu, Somalia, two-year-old Mohamed was able to go home after just ten days.

Read Mohamed's story
Meet HalimaHalima and her mother Fatuma in Somalia. Halima recovered from life-threatening malnutrition thanks to the support of Action Against Hunger.

Meet Halima

When 20-month-old Halima was admitted to one of our treatment centres in Somalia, she showed all the signs of life-threating hunger. She was underweight, she had swollen feet and hands, and her hair had started to fall out.

Read her story

Our response to Covid-19 in Somalia

With an already depleted health care system, Somalia now also faces the new threat of the Covid-19.

Coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the country and will put the most vulnerable communities most at risk. Some regions lack the basic resources to fight the virus and healthcare facilities and hospitals are ill equipped to face a pandemic of this scale.

In settlement camps, where many displaced families live, social distancing is almost impossible.

“I haven’t seen these levels of need in my life. We’re quite worried about the situation for the most vulnerable populations in Somalia.”

Hajir Maalim, Action Against Hunger’s Regional Director in East Africa

We’ve been working with various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, as part of a coronavirus prevention plan in the country. We’re supporting the only quarantine hospital in the capital, Mogadishu and supporting the government’s response with vehicles, emergency staff and contact tracing, as well as supplying essential testing kits and personal protective equipment.

Action Against Hunger’s work in Somalia

Our programmes in Somalia continue to treat and screen children and pregnant and breastfeeding women for acute malnutrition. We’re benefiting these groups with primary health care consultations to improve their health and wellbeing.  Our programmes are supporting vulnerable families with cash transfers, allowing them access food and essential services during severe draught periods.

We’re distributing essential hygiene kits through our WaSH programmes and expanding our health services, under the essential primary health services package. We’re supporting public health facilities to provide health consultations, immunisation, ante-natal care, skilled birth delivery, postnatal care and nutrition services.


Our reach

  • 606,255

    We reached more than 600,000 people through our programmes in Somalia in 2019.

  • 213,522

    We provided 213,522 vulnerable people with cash transfers for food and essential services in 2019.

  • 98,125

    We screened almost 100,000 children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women for severe malnutrition in 2019.

Save lives todayWomen social distancing as they wait for appointments for nutrition treatments during the Covid-19 pandemic

Save lives today

Help more vulnerable communities in Somalia tackle hunger.

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