Famine in Somalia


Mogadishu - Mother holding babyDEC member agencies are continuing to scale up their work in south and central Somalia in response to what the UN has now recognised as the first famine in the region since south Sudan in 1998. The people in Bakool and Lower Shabelle are suffering from severe malnutrition with other areas expected to follow in as little as eight weeks as more information becomes available and the situation continues to deteriorate.
Malnutrition rates are above 50 per cent in some of the districts; a level of 15% is considered an emergency, with 30% or more being one of the indicators of famine. Tens of thousands of people have already died for reasons related to malnutrition in the last few months. 
Ten of the fourteen UK based aid agencies that form the DEC membership are working in Somalia directly or through partners, including in some cases in the south or centre of the country.
DEC member agencies and their partners operate under strict rules of humanitarian impartiality and independence to ensure continued safe access to as many people in need of help as possible but the situation in Somalia is exceptionally challenging. 
Activities of DEC members and their partners in Somalia include:
  • CARE is providing assistance with food, water, wells and cash to the most vulnerable households in Puntland and Somaliland.
  • Concern Worldwide is working in south and central Somalia providing food vouchers, water, household items and healthcare for malnourished children and mothers.
  • British Red Cross’ partner in Somali is providing healthcare in Puntland and Somaliland, food for the most vulnerable and wells.  It has also distributed seeds and tools in south and central Somalia ahead of hoped for rains.
  • Merlin is providing emergency healthcare and food in central Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland.
  • Save the Children is providing supplementary feeding for vulnerable children and cash to vulnerable households in Somaliland and Puntland.
  • Islamic Relief is providing food, water, sanitation and healthcare in Mogadishu, Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia has been caused by a combination of factors including severe drought, rising food and fuel prices, chronic poverty and conflict.  Unless sufficient levels of aid are raised there is a real risk of the famine spreading to all eight regions of southern Somalia and afflicted nearly 3 million people.


reinhard mukwevho.

Posted at 02.51 pm on 18/11/14

it is beyond a measurable doubt that such suffering need a quick and sustainable interventions, however this is not a room to neglect the views of those who would like to suggest the better ways and strategies, so as to avoid dealing with a challenge time and again, despite the population that is viewed as the major cause of this situation, it takes twice the effort to sustain helping uneducated people than does educated people, again this is not to say uneducated people should not be asisted, but rather education provition should not be turned a blind-eye on when considering changing such a situation, remember! well informed people take sound decisions and choices. let us therefore make a difference in the lifes of those who are in-need# make a differencetoday-GOD bless you as you do so


Posted at 02.52 pm on 06/04/12

I don't think it's fair to categorise, the population by it's millions, africa & somalia is a vast country that adapts to it's huge population & we should not use excuses such as " women are having too many children" or it's over populated, that's wrong it's a country with a complete diffrent culture to the west & how we live, they are born with nothing & go out with nothing, we should as a humanitarians come together & try to help defenless children & women it's not their fault that the conditions of their country is ruled by militia & have no form of help from their goverment, apart from the western world, put yourself in their shoes just, for a second" would you want your children & family to go through, what they have had to suffer, for the last 20 years????

Leon from DEC

Posted at 10.25 am on 30/03/12

Hi Bill,

Many thanks for your thoughtful comments. You're right that money goes in and although the short term benefits are clear, longer term change can be harder to see. I think the issue is that these changes take many years and depend on lots of things besides international aid. Our remit is to raise funds to help those in urgent needs due to an emergency or disaster and our member agencies play an effective role to meet that need in scaling up in the short term. The money we raise and they raise is then spent over a two year period, by the end of which our members - where they have the capacity - move toward longer term sustainable work.

Put simply it's not just about delivering bags of food or trucks of water (as critically important as they are) it's also about using things like cereal banks or gardening projects to help communities build in resilience for future lean times. Other work includes making sure wells are working properly so local people have access to fresh drinking water which helps reduce illness and keeps livestock alive. Our agencies also are increasingly using things like cash vouchers to enable local people to purchase the things they need which means local markets are sustained and livelihoods can continue. And working to ensure that an emergency response looks to a future where local affected people can cope with things like droughts or changes in food prices.

All this and more are available to read about in our appeal sections. The following links give some insights into the type of work which can help in the longer term:




In terms of seeing where the DEC appeal funds are being spent we encourage our supporters to have a look at our annual reports which have more information on how money is spent: http://is.gd/GS1hVp

Thank you for taking the time to engage with us, we really appreciate hearing feedback from our supporters about our work and it's impact.



Posted at 11.25 pm on 29/03/12

another thought is that you create jobs through this and brings them out of poverty ,there are times when there are not droughts or wars so y would your selfs ask 4 money when thing are this bad i have donated to things to help people in 3rd world countries but things have not changed in 20 years since then explain y and these are millions of our money if you could show us how money is spent and has not gone through corrupt officials then i would donate more but please reply to this from billy joe


Posted at 02.51 pm on 28/03/12

yes i agree with most comments about food for for having less children ,and having desalination plant in all african countries which is what there goverment should be asking for b4 letting big company come in take all there mining wealth i.e gold diamonds oil so get these people to stop all this till they get what they need then maybe they would not need all this monsanto wheat who make millions out of all this ....yours billy joe mc allister

Leon from DEC

Posted at 09.24 am on 24/08/11

The principle causes of the famine in Somalia are not to do with over-population but chronic poverty, conflict and drought. Experience from poor countries around the world shows that high birth rates drop most rapidly when poverty is reduced, girls are educated and there is affordable access to birth control.


Posted at 06.53 pm on 22/08/11

please-the people of the west bank are not starving to death like so many other countries and how many of their residents would help other countries if they could-probably none1


Posted at 06.50 pm on 22/08/11

yes we should help people who are starving and are victims of natural disasters but they need to start changing their way of thinking.their views on religion and birth control make them keep having babies and more babies. more mouths to feed. even if they are uneducated they should still have some level of common sense or else they might as well be animals! how can these men even have enough sexual drive when they are starving and see most of the children dying?the somalian men need to cooperate a bit and control their own population until things get hopefully better.

Leon from DEC

Posted at 05.52 pm on 18/08/11

I think there may be some confusion here, there have not been calls for a DEC appeal for the people of the West Bank. In 2009 however there was a DEC appeal for the people of Gaza which raised £8.3 million.

There's more info on the DEC Gaza appeal here: http://www.dec.org.uk/appeals/gaza-crisis-appeal


Posted at 09.23 pm on 17/08/11

I would like to donate to the Africian apeal but not through the auspicious of the DEC, or its compenent parts, because of their disgraceful stance on denying help to the West Bank.


Posted at 12.19 pm on 06/08/11

Lord Jesus may your kingdom come soon.xx


Posted at 11.23 am on 06/08/11

more powerfull countries always jump in to help with military might when there is something in it for them. this sort of poverty should not happen and these countries should be helping more.



Posted at 09.58 am on 06/08/11

100's of Millions has been given to this region over the last 30 years, the governments must be now part of relief efforts and held accountable and have plans in the region to help, it's not acceptable that Oxfam and alike keep up scaling buying more and more cars and computers and paying staff and housing internationals, why can't there be one consolidated effort and reduce the competitiveness of these agencies? and the now 1000's of International staff all running around doing the same thing, people need food and shelter and support while in difficult conditions, not what's actually happening now..


Posted at 05.37 pm on 05/08/11

lets stop playing words around this very serious issue. we are africa, we are not watching through tv or whatever but we are living it and we are dying from it.

We thank u all who would like to donate whatever it may be and no matter how small to these needy people
remenber: we are one world, we are one people.


Posted at 01.01 pm on 04/08/11

The best thing for us all to do is donate and pray for these people. Discusing the country's greater issues may be relavant but not so helpful at this time.



Posted at 01.00 pm on 04/08/11

The best thing for us all to do is donate and pray for these people. Discusing the country's greater issues may be relavant but not so helpful at this time.


Posted at 01.14 am on 04/08/11

People please just realise that poverty is caused by goverments!!! If we all regularly gave to charities we wouldnt have to see such suffering! Humans need to understand that we just need to help anyone and not judge them. We have become selfish - we all think about us US US. Dying from famine is the most painful deaths one can experience- children are going through this. Lets think about the suffering and try and quickly alleviate the pain they are suffering as quick as possible! :-) x From Yaza


Posted at 10.25 pm on 02/08/11

The EU has given very little help so far,compared to the UK??.

Leon from DEC

Posted at 03.40 pm on 02/08/11

The giving of clothes and blankets is a kind offer, however the practicalities of this can complicate an aid effort (tents not being strong enough is one example). The money raised is used to buy the food and shelter needed which will fit the needs on the ground.


Posted at 12.47 pm on 02/08/11

If free shipment was available to transport food and necessities, then a lot of people will be inclined to give clothes, blankets and food items. Women are suffering the most as they feel responsible for the children they have Even a low amount for transportation would do This was done during the Indian earthquake in Gujarat.


Posted at 10.19 pm on 01/08/11

It is the men they take sex when ever they want it is not the women they do not want more children what woman would want to bring a child into that life.


Posted at 09.22 pm on 01/08/11

there isn't too many people, just some are not as privaliged and you are whether you can afford a house TV or watch. I bet people will have never heard of a computer out there.


Posted at 06.59 pm on 01/08/11

We need to Help these poor people. Donating just a dollar could help save a childs life. Somalia is need right now, and they need the worlds help. Thank you for all thoses who helped, and I hope eveyone else tries to help in someway. #Somalia Stand Up


Posted at 04.32 pm on 01/08/11

The intelligent people are responsible for ignorance of the uneducated people!


Posted at 02.35 pm on 01/08/11

Comment by Mike Ayres
Droughts will always occur in this and many other areas. Instead of getting caught out and seeking emergency relief, think ahead. These are all sunny areas. Use aid money to build solar powered desalination plants. Make this a start towards developing sustainable farming and perhaps, eventually, other industries. Don't firefight, fix the root cause of the problems.


Posted at 02.21 pm on 01/08/11

im not sure anyone is suggesting population control , but we do have to accept that with or without global warming , there are many areas of Africa that cannot reliably support hum a life.
That people still manage to survive there , is amazing, but trying to then move those people up to a level of education and wealth of even a poor european country just seems to be fighting nature in the extreme.... Is this not also a part of Africa that has large amounts of weapons , even pirates, and spends millions on military ? , strange how the news changes depending on the weather ....... Its a fact . This part of Africa - Cannot sustain healthy lifestyles of even 20% of the current population reliably and consistently..
The answer - who knows, and I do contribute for those in such terrible situation, but how do we quickly stop this escalating - again and again ?

Leon from DEC

Posted at 09.53 am on 01/08/11

Respectfully can we ask for people to use a name when posting, it doesn't have to be your exact name but as long as we are able to distinguish between posts.


Posted at 08.39 pm on 31/07/11

its not about how many children are born. If every individual gave to poor people then surely poverty would not exist. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!


Posted at 05.10 pm on 31/07/11

can anyone give the population fo somalis the population of somalis is tiny compared its neighbour and how much land they have.


Posted at 04.34 pm on 30/07/11

People have so many children in countries affected by such terrible conditions because the likelihood is that several of them will not live to be adults. Simply to perpetuate the family and ensure that there are enough fit and able members to support it requires parents to have more children than they might in other cultures.


Posted at 11.07 am on 30/07/11

To the person who complains of TOO MANY PEOPLE. You imply that we should let people starve as a punishment for having had too many children. Is this your preferred method of population control? I'm sure Mao or Stalin would be right behind you. You are right that population control is vital for our globe's future, and that education is crucial - family sizes start immediately reducing when women are educated. But to imply that we must choose between investing in education and providing emergency relief to starving people is inhumane and grotesque.


Posted at 06.05 am on 30/07/11

When is someone going to accept that the root cause of the problem is TOO MANY PEOPLE. When I hear a woman say that she has eight children I despair. Increasing the food and medical care will simply lead to more people surviving until the next famine.
What's needed is control - education, contraception, reward for limiting size of family etc.


Posted at 07.25 pm on 29/07/11

Thank you very much for your great that you granted to vulnerable/disadvantaged people affected by drought

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