Blog Post

Famine Risk in Somalia Grows

Urgent international aid is needed in Somalia to avert famine and widespread starvation, according to a new alert issued last week by FEWS Net. While humanitarian aid increased throughout this fall and has so far prevented IPC Phase 5 (Famine)-level food insecurity from being reached, experts warn that the southern and central areas of the country will likely reach such acute levels in April-June 2023.

More than 8 million people will face hunger, acute malnutrition, and risk of hunger-related death in Somalia in 2023, FEWS Net reports. Governments and international partners have stepped up humanitarian aid throughout 2022 to historic levels; however, even these increases will not be enough to stave off the country’s skyrocketing hunger. A prolonged drought (expected to last into 2023), high and volatile food prices, measles and cholera outbreaks, continuing civil conflict, and massive population displacement have formed a catastrophic combination for food security.

With forecast humanitarian funding expected to decline starting in March 2023, due largely to budgetary shortfalls, the number of people receiving desperately needed assistance could decline by as much as 80 percent, according to the alert. Without increased multi-sectoral aid, Somalia could see more hunger-related deaths than during the 2011-2012 famine.