Somalia is ranked first in the 2016 fragile states index. According to the UN, out of 12 million inhabitants, more than half are food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance. 363 000 children are acutely undernourished and 1.1 million Somalis are internally displaced, under constant threat of insecurity and armed conflict.
The successive failure of the 2016 rainy seasons across parts of the Horn of Africa region has led to devastating drought. In January 2017, a pre-famine alert was issued for Somalia. The UN has called for the immediate scale-up of assistance to avert a catastrophe similar to the 2011-12 famine when over 260 000 Somalis died.
Over 135 000 people have been newly displaced inside Somalia due to the drought since late 2016, while a few thousands have crossed into Ethiopia.
Somali refugees continue to return from Kenya after the government announced it would close Dadaab camps. More than 50 000 people have returned, either spontaneously or assisted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), although conditions in many parts of Somalia are not conducive for return. The drought is making matters worse as vulnerable people vie for overstretched resources.
Humanitarian agencies are stepping up aid, trying to meet the most urgent needs in the hardest hit regions. They do so in a dangerous and extremely challenging environment. Attempts at disrupting the elections have resulted in security incidents and deadly explosions in the capital Mogadishu.
In 2016, the European Union (Member States & European Commission) provided 44% (> USD 403 million) of all humanitarian aid to populations in Somalia.