2018 Somalia Humanitarian Needs Overview



The humanitarian crisis in Somalia is among the most complex and longstanding emergencies. While large-scale famine has been averted in 2017, the humanitarian impact of the drought has been devastating. More than 6.2 million people, half of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The ongoing conflict continues to reduce the resilience of communities, trigger displacement and impede civilians’ access to basic services and humanitarians’ access to those in need. Exclusion and discrimination of socially marginalized groups are contributing to high levels of acute humanitarian need and lack of protection among some of the most vulnerable. Disease outbreaks such as acute watery diarrhea (AWD)/cholera and measles continue to lead to preventable deaths across the country.


Acute needs of crisisaffected communities and lack of access to basic services

More than 3.1 million Somalis are in acute need of humanitarian assistance for survival (IPC Phases 3 and 4). This includes 87,250 children (point prevalence) suffering from severe acute malnutrition who are far more vulnerable than any other group. Overall about 1.2 million children are expected to be suffering from acute malnutrition.Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), both protracted and newly displaced, and civilians in conflict-affected areas, are among the most vulnerable, with many lacking access to essential basic services including health, education and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.

Protection of civilians

Abuses against civilians, including widespread sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), child recruitment, limitations on the freedom of movement, forced evictions and displacement remain a pervasive feature of the confl ict in Somalia. An estimated 3.6 million people are in need of protection services. The drought has triggered huge displacement in 2017, with negative coping strategies leading to violations of rights. IDPs face insecurity and violence in their displacement settings, especially women and children. The majority, 76 per cent, of reported GBV incidents were reported by IDPs. Vulnerable groups such as women-headed households, unaccompanied children, socially marginalized and discriminated communities are at particular risk and face specific protection concerns.

Limited livelihood opportunities and weakened resilience

More than three million Somalis are in IPC Phase 2 Stressed, and in need of livelihood support, to avoid sliding into Crisis or Emergency. What is left of livelihood assets of 3.1 million people who are in IPC Phases 3 and 4 also need to be protected in order to prevent more people from slipping into Emergency. Pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in rural areas are experiencing signifi cant water shortages, livestock losses and poor crop harvest due to drought require livelihood support, as do IDPs and socially marginalized groups in urban and periurban areas.

Assistance and protection of hard-to -reach populations

Nearly two million people are estimated to be living in hard to-reach, conflict-affected, rural areas in southern and central Somalia, and in the contested Sool and Sanaag regions in the north. Th e presence of non-state armed actors or active fighting severely constrains safe humanitarian access in these areas. With limited access to life-saving assistance, crisis affected communities in these areas are disproportionally affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, disease outbreaks and inadequate WASH services. While the needs are similar to those listed above, they are oft en more acute and people in hard-to-reach areas face additional and very specific protection concerns.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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