Crisis Response

Responding to the crisis in Somalia

Somalia today is once again confronted with mass famine. The lack of adequate rainfall over three consecutive seasons led to the failure of crop production and livestock deaths at a massive scale and rapid increases in the incidence of food insecurity, malnutrition, disease and population displacement.

Since the end of the previous drought in 2011, approximately USD 4.5 billion has been spent on emergency responses to save lives. While these efforts have averted famine to date, the continuous need for humanitarian response is preventing Somalis from achieving the vital long-term development gains needed to lift the country out of poverty and insecurity.

UNDP’s response

UNDP primarily supports the government to coordinate the response and address the root causes of the ongoing humanitarian crisis, to break the ‘vicious cycle’ of natural disasters and emergencies.  

UNDP in Somalia today stands at the crossroad of the humanitarian, peace and development nexus, working simultaneously on peace, justice and security, state building, local governance, climate change and longer-term sustainable development, to avert and mitigate shocks – whether these shocks are caused by violence, disaster, climate, famine or epidemic.

UNDP collaborates with government and UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as the World Bank, to help establish a medium to longer-term recovery and resilience framework for Somalia.

Key results

  • UNDP contributed to set up, and provides ongoing technical capacity to disaster management institutions. 
  • UNDP supported the Somali Government to immediately deliver water to 6,500 vulnerable households in drought-affected communities, and helped build a main water reservoir in Puntland, which provides water storage to 15,000 pastoralists and their livestock for four months.
  • UNDP and the World Bank undertook a Post Disaster Needs Assessment aiming to evaluate early recovery aspects and medium term resilience in the context of the ongoing drought crisis.
  • UNDP activated mobile legal clinics in Baidoa, South West State, as well as in Puntland, to provide legal information and, to the extent possible, address gender-based violence within displaced groups and host communities.
  • Solar panels previously supplied by UNDP have met 75% of energy needs in the main treatment centre for more than 2,000 cholera patients in Baidoa.

Find more information in our factsheet on Somalia.

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