From the linked New York Times article:

The most devastating crisis is unfolding in Somalia, where about seven million of the country’s estimated 16 million people face acute food shortages. Since January, at least 448 children have died from severe acute malnutrition, according to a database managed by UNICEF.

Aid donors, focused on the crisis in Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic, have pledged only about 18 percent of the $1.46 billion needed for Somalia, according to the United Nations’ financial tracking service ... With the rivers low, wells dry and their livestock dead, families are walking or getting on buses and donkeys — sometimes for hundreds of miles — just to find food, water or emergency medical care.


Experts forecast that the upcoming October to December rainy season will most likely fail, pushing the drought into 2023. The predictions are worrying analysts, who say the deteriorating conditions and the delayed scale-up in funding could mirror the severe 2011 drought that killed about 260,000 Somalis.

And from the IPC report:

Acute food insecurity has continued to worsen across Somalia, with an estimated 5.2 million people (or 33% of the total population) already experiencing Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher) outcomes, including 38 000 people likely in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), as of May 2022, despite the ongoing delivery of humanitarian food assistance. Food assistance reached an average of 2.4 million people per month between February and April 2022 and has likely prevented the worsening of food security and nutrition outcomes in many areas.

However, humanitarian assistance delivery is far short of the rising level of need, and insufficient funding is expected to lead to pipeline breaks in food assistance delivery after June. Food insecurity and malnutrition are expected to deteriorate further and faster between June and September 2022, and if humanitarian food assistance is not scaled up and sustained, then approximately 7.1 million people (or 45% of the total population) are expected to face Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher) outcomes. This figure includes 2.1 million people that will likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and at least 213 000 people that will likely be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

Where the scale means:

  1. Generally Food Secure -- More than 80% of households can meet basic food needs without atypical coping strategies.
  2. Borderline Food Insecure -- For at least 20 percent of households, food consumption is reduced but minimally adequate without having to engage in irreversible coping strategies. These households cannot fully meet livelihoods protection needs.
  3. Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis -- At least 20 percent of households have significant food consumption gaps OR are marginally able to meet minimum food needs only with irreversible coping strategies such as liquidating livelihood assets. Levels of acute malnutrition are high and above normal.
  4. Humanitarian Emergency -- At least 20 percent of households face extreme food consumption gaps, resulting in very high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality; OR households face an extreme loss of livelihood assets that will likely lead to food consumption gaps.
  5. Famine/Humanitarian Catastrophe --At least 20 percent of households face a complete lack of food and/or other basic needs and starvation, death, and destitution are evident; and acute malnutrition prevalence exceeds 30%; and mortality rates exceed 2/10000/day.
Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:18 AM

What are some effective charities that are working to address the situation? 

The GiveDirectly campaign in Yemen seems similar, across the Gulf of Aden. They budget $192/person/4 months for basic needs. 

A quick update on this, 8 months later ...

The AP:

[World Food Program] Executive Director David Beasley said countries in the Horn of Africa have faced “unprecedented climate impact” from years of drought, and the U.N. agency had been expecting to announce famine in Somalia before donors “stepped up in magnificent ways.”

“And we’ve been able to — I don’t know if the right word is ‘avert’ famine — but we definitely have postponed it,” he told The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday. “We’ve been fortunate so far, given the climate shocks inside Somalia. But we’re not out of this yet.”

Voice of America:

New York — The U.N. is appealing for $2.6 billion this year to assist 7.6 million of the most vulnerable Somalis who are facing acute hunger and possible famine from conflict, high food prices, and unprecedented drought.

"Famine is a strong possibility from April to June this year, and of course beyond, if humanitarian assistance is not sustained, and if the April to June rains underperform as currently forecast," Adam Abdelmoula, the U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, told reporters in a video briefing.

The country, along with other parts of the Horn of Africa, is in the throes of historic drought after five consecutive failed rainy seasons.

Abdelmoula said nearly 6.4 million people are currently facing high levels of food insecurity and that is expected to rise to 8.3 million between April and June, including 727,000 of them who are expected to experience catastrophic hunger levels.


The US is doing all it can to avert a new famine in Somalia, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

 “We’re doing everything possible to help to avert this but people die even when there’s not a famine so the work that we have to do is really continuing,” Thomas-Greenfield said in an interview Wednesday at Bloomberg’s Washington headquarters.

Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities