Somalia + 4 more

ECHO Factsheet – Somalia – January 2018

News and Press Release
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3.3 million people are experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity

1.2 million acutely malnourished children expected in 2018

1 in 7 children dies before age 5

2.1 million internally displaced

Over 870 000 Somali refugees in neighbouring countries (sources: FEWS NET, FSNAU, UNHCR, UNICEF)

EU humanitarian funding: €119 million in 2017


The failure of successive rainy seasons across the Horn of Africa region has led to severe water and food shortages, while the long-standing Somali conflict continues to hamper access to populations in need. Of the 2.1 million internally displaced Somalis, more than 1 million were uprooted from their homes in 2017 alone. The EU has drastically scaled up its assistance, thus helping to avert a catastrophe similar to the 2011 famine which resulted in 260 000 deaths; however, famine continues to be a real possibility in 2018.

What are the needs?

More than half of Somalia’s 12 million inhabitants are food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 1.2 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished, including 232 000 who will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition. The mass displacement of populations in often insalubrious conditions is worrisome and makes them vulnerable to eviction, exploitation and abuse. In 2017, health authorities and partners succeeded in containing a serious cholera epidemic.

Disease outbreaks such as cholera and measles are the cause of preventable deaths across the country, with 78 560 and 20 809 cases reported respectively in 2017.

The prolonged drought has been devastating for vulnerable communities, many of which never fully recovered from the 2011–12 famine. They also suffer from the longstanding conflict and a lack of basic services. With their coping mechanisms severely eroded, drought-affected populations will continue to rely on humanitarian assistance in 2018. More than 870 000 Somalis are refugees in neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti or Ethiopia. Despite the drought, voluntary repatriation from Kenya has continued with more than 70 000 returns since 2014. The EU’s position is that any repatriation should be voluntary, informed, safe, and dignified.