Somalia: Humanitarian leadership declares drought

News and Press Release
Originally published


(Mogadishu, 25 April 2021) – Based on observed drought conditions and rainfall forecasts, the Federal Government of Somalia and the humanitarian community are deeply concerned about the deterioration of the dry conditions in Somalia which has now escalated to a drought situation.

More than 80 per cent of the country is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. Although the Gu rains started in some parts of the country, forecasts indicate below-average rainfall. Limited rainfall amounts are expected in May and June with larger parts of Somaliland, Puntland, central regions and Gedo region being the worst affected.

“Somalia experiences a cyclical pattern of drought every five to six years and the failure of the rains thus far spells disaster. At a time when communities are already struggling to cope with the recent water shortages in many parts of the country, the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and already dire humanitarian situation in the country, many lives are at stake,” said Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Khadija Diriye.

Somalia is on the front line of climate change and the frequency of climate-related disasters is increasing rapidly. Since 1990, Somalia has experienced more than 30 climate-related hazards, including 12 droughts and 19 floods – triple the number of climate-related hazards experienced between 1970 and 1990. In 2021, drought conditions are expected to increase displacement and have a lasting negative impact on livelihoods and food security outcomes. At least 3.4 million people are projected to be affected by drought conditions by the end of 2021, of whom around 380,000 are expected to be displaced.

The loss of livelihoods forces families to rely on increasingly severe coping mechanisms, worsened by political instability, armed conflict and forced displacement. “We are at the brink of a human catastrophe amidst an already dire humanitarian situation,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator, Adam Abdelmoula. “The cost of inaction is far too dire and the time to take action is now. Urgent and immediate collective action, including scaling-up of response and funding, is needed now to mitigate a full-scale disaster.”

The Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requires US$ 1.09 billion to assist four million people, including more than three million people in acute need. As of today, the HRP is 15 per cent funded.

For further information, please contact:
Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Disaster Management Ahmed Omar, Head of Communications,, +252 615578678
UNOCHA Somalia, Delphine Vakunta, Communications Officer-in-Charge, +252 61 8852275
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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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