7 million people in Somalia are right now suffering extreme hunger, with over 81,000 living in famine-like conditions.

Across the Horn of Africa, families in the grip of a devastating drought are skipping meals to feed their children, selling off all their assets, and even having to marry their young daughters to pay for food and medicine. Save the Children is on the ground providing water, seeds and health services.  Your donation today to the Children's Emergency Fund supports this life-saving work.

Help Children in Somalia

Somalia is facing one of the most severe emergencies in the worst global hunger crisis this century. As the Horn of Africa faces its worst drought in 40 years, 1.5 million children in Somalia – or one in five - could face deadly forms of malnutrition by October without immediate action.

Somalia has long been one of the hardest places on earth to be a child. Ranked third only to Syria and Afghanistan, Somalia tops a list of the 10 most dangerous conflict-affected countries to be a child. 

Decades of civil war have left the country mired in poverty and, in many places, without a functioning government. Today, as drought in East Africa decimates people’s ability to raise livestock or grow crops and the war in Ukraine drives up food prices, Save the Children is working to meet the most urgent needs of children and families.

Famine Warning in Somalia: 5 Things to Know

1. In 2011, famine in Somalia killed 260,000 people, half of whom were children. Today, as Somalia is crippled by its worst drought in 40 years as well as rising food prices and conflict, the UN is warning of famine in parts of Somalia within months.

2. More than half of children aged under five in Somalia are facing acute malnutrition with one in six suffering from the most deadly form of malnutrition.

3. New Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) figures said the number of children estimated to be suffering acute malnutrition had risen to 1.8 million, or 54.5%, which is an increase of 20% from previous forecasts.

4. Nearly 6.7 million people in Somalia—41% of the population—are expected to be battling widespread food shortages between October and December this year, which is an increase of nearly 2.4 million people from previous figures.

5. Four consecutive poor or failed harvests since 2020, escalating local and imported food prices, the deaths of more than three million livestock, and drought and conflict-induced population displacement have combined to create a life-threatening emergency.

What is the impact of the Climate Crisis on Somalia?

Somalia is at the epicenter of what is being called the world's deadliest climate change disaster.

In Somalia, an older sibling holds her younger sibling in her arms.

"With the number of climate-related disasters tripling in the past 30 years, frequent and recurring climate shocks—such as drought, flooding, and cyclones—are repeatedly decimating farming and livestock, driving population displacement, and pushing millions into acute hunger," said Save the Children’s Country Director in Somalia, Mohamud Mohamed Hassan.

"The great tragedy of hunger in Somalia is that the country has been one of the lowest contributors to the climate crisis, and yet is feeling the impact most severely. Right now, the Horn of Africa is experiencing an extreme, persistent drought after four consecutive failed rainy seasons—a climatic event not seen in at least 40 years—and it’s set to get worse."

How You’re Changing Children’s Lives

Thanks to giving people like you, our work for children in Somalia is making a difference.

Save the Children has worked in Somalia since 1951. As the country faces one of its worst droughts in decades, alarming numbers of children — an estimated 1.5 million— could be facing severe acute malnutrition by October.

Save the Children is already working to help affected communities in Somalia to cope with the immediate humanitarian effects of drought. We are providing emergency water supplies, treating children who are malnourished, supporting education systems so that children do not miss vital learning while displaced by drought, running health facilities, and providing cash and livelihood support to the most vulnerable.

As clean water becomes harder to find, cholera has spread among Somalia’s children and families. To control the spread of the disease, we’ve established a cholera task force and are delivering ready-to-eat therapeutic food to hard-hit areas. Save the Children is also training nurses and doctors to expand their treatment services in order to treat and save as many children as possible.

  • Protected 55,238 children from harm
  • Supported 235,297 children in times of crisis
  • Provided 578,836 children with a healthy start in life
  • Gave Gave 40,318 children vital nourishment children vital nourishment

How to Help Children in Somalia

Please help us save the lives, and futures, of children in Somalia with a donation to our Children's Emergency Fund.

*Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts and from the Childhood Report. You can access detailed data here. Other sources as follows: UNHCR; Population: CIA World Factbook; The World Bank, 2016; Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS)


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