Somalia: Humanitarian needs growing and increasingly severe

News and Press Release
Originally published


Mogadishu, 29 November 2017: The unprecedented drought, spanning at least four consecutive poor rainy seasons, has resulted in severe and growing humanitarian needs across Somalia, according to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) released today by the Somalia Humanitarian Country Team. Humanitarian needs are on the rise due to limited rain, displacement, lack of access to basic services and continuing conflict.

In 2018, 6.2 million people, half of the population of Somalia, will need humanitarian assistance and protection. Some 3.3 million of these will require urgent life-saving assistance due to a combination of a vulnerabilities resulting from drought-induced displacement, conflict and limited access to basic services. More than one-third of those in need are internally displaced persons (IDPs). This includes 866,000 people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) as of November 2017, reflecting a sharp spike in the number of most vulnerable people, up from 83,000 people in Emergency in January 2017.

Malnutrition rates are on the rise, with the overall median prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate at 17.4 per cent, significantly above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. This reflects a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation compared to late 2015, when the overall median prevalence of GAM was at 12.2 per cent. Over one million people have been displaced due to drought and conflict since January 2017, mainly from rural areas to urban centres. The estimated number of displaced in Somalia is now above two million. With the current Deyr season (October – December) having started late and generally performing below average marks a fourth failed rainy season. The long-term forecast of a below-average Gu season from April to June 2018, the prospects for relief are grim.

“Drought and conflict have continued to be the principal drivers of humanitarian needs in Somalia, with the civilian population in many parts of the country exposed to significant protection risks that threaten life, dignity and wellbeing on a daily basis,” said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “Alongside providing life-saving assistance, reducing emergency levels of acute malnutrition, reinforcing provision of resilience support; the centrality of protection will inform our response strategy for next year,” he added calling for collective Somali and international efforts to support the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan once it is launched early next year.

“The 2018 Somalia HNO reflects the federal, state and regional level authorities’ and the humanitarian community's collective and shared understanding of the crisis, including the most pressing humanitarian needs and estimated number of people who require assistance,” said Elmi Omar Eynsane, the deputy Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. “The 2018 HNO was a Somali-driven process and a culmination of a wide consultative exercise, including the voices of authorities and affected communities in Somalia and we are confident that it provides the evidence base to inform the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan and the baseline for monitoring and accountability systems.”

The Somalia HNO draws from multiple sectoral assessments, including multi-sector needs assessment which involved consultations with affected communities, authorities at all levels and humanitarian partners in Somalia ensuring that the priorities and concerns of each of these sectors guide the overall humanitarian response in 2018. The HNO identifies priority needs to support informed strategic planning and resource mobilization for the Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan for 2018. The serious and persisting humanitarian situation requires a simultaneous and complementary effort to address the underlying causes to recurring crises, including food insecurity and mass displacement. The ongoing Drought Impact Needs Assessment and development of a Recovery and Resilience Framework provide a link between the humanitarian response and necessary investments in resilience.
To download the 2018 Somalia Humanitarian Needs Overview click here:


For further information, please contact:
Tapiwa Gomo, Head of Communication,, Tel. +252 616 548 007
Antonette Miday, Public Information Officer,, Tel. +254-731-043156

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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