Key Humanitarian Issues
INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia continues to deteriorate. The current extreme, widespread, and persistent multi-season drought is unprecedented. Four consecutive rainy seasons have failed, a climatic event not seen in at least 40 years. The 2022 March-May rainy season has not materialized and is likely to be the driest on record, devastating livelihoods and driving sharp increases in food, water, and nutrition insecurity. The impact of the drought and increasing economic pressures are deepening the severity of needs and driving the country to the brink of famine. Nearly 50 per cent of the population – 7.7 million people – require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, of whom 7 million are estimated to be affected by the drought.
The drought has devastated the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable, and marginalized people, including women, children, and minority clans. Acute malnutrition in children is on the rise.
Basic needs have intensified across all sectors. More than 45 per cent of the country is food insecure, including nearly 2.1 million who are suffering from severe food insecurity. For the first time since 2017, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) has confirmed pockets of food insecurity in 28 districts, affecting more than 213,000 people.
Currently, 1.5 million children under age 5 and more than 250,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) are in need of nutrition support. A total of 6.4 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 6.5 million people lack access to adequate healthcare. Poor sanitation and communicable diseases, including cholera and measles outbreaks, have resulted in 16 confirmed deaths and left thousands of people sick this year.
Somalis are hungrier, sicker and more vulnerable than a year ago, pushing an ever-greater number of people into reliance on humanitarian assistance for survival. Humanitarian response is increasingly becoming the only lifeline to cope with the impact of drought.
Access to basic services
Somalia continues to rebuild its economy and basic infrastructure amid challenging circumstances. Across the country, basic services are unreliable and often unavailable, placing enormous pressure on the humanitarian response.
Only 52 per cent of the population in Somalia have access to a basic water supply. Limited regulation of private water suppliers often leads to expensive prices, forcing families to fetch water from far and from unsafe open wells. The absence of a centralized electricity grid coupled with a significant nomadic population means more than 70 per cent of Somalis live without access to electricity. Transportation infrastructure is in very poor condition, hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid and constraining access to services, including education and health care.
Only 19 per cent of health facilities are fully functional. More than 30 per cent of all children are out of school. Humanitarian partners have been increasingly stretching to fill some of these gaps to ensure continuity of essential services.
An estimated 2.9 million people are displaced, as well as more than 805,000 newly displaced due to the drought, one of the highest levels of internal displacement globally. Women and children constitute 82 per cent of those displaced since October 2021. In IDP sites, access to safe water is often compromised due to damaged infrastructure allowing diseases and malnutrition spread even faster.
Displaced populations in Somalia predominantly reside in over 2,400 highly congested informal settlements, the majority of which are located in Mogadishu, Baidoa, north Gaalkacyo and south Gaalkacyo, Belet Weyne, Bossaso, Kismayo and Burao. IDPs face precarious labor and living conditions. As of April 2022, less than 30 per cent of newly arrived IDPs have received immediate assistance such as NFI items, food/cash support, and access to nutrition services.
Historically, IDPs have faced discrimination and exclusion to equitable services. IDP settlements are highly vulnerable to protection concerns, exploitation, aid diversion, and evictions. New arrivals are often at increased risk of GBV and PSEA.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.