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Mercy Corps has worked in Somalia since 2005. Despite Somalia’s reputation of instability, the northern parts of Somalia are relatively calm and functioning. Still, more than two decades of civil strife and extremism have resulted in a group of people who have been displaced from their homes for years and are dependent on government and humanitarian interventions.
Somalia is now at the risk of famine. Some 3.1 million people are unable to meet their daily food needs and need urgent assistance. An estimated 1.4 million children are or will be acutely malnourished — including 275,000 who already are or will be severely malnourished. Drought, flooding and ongoing conflict threaten the food security of people who are already living in a precarious economic situation. If drought conditions worse, hundreds of thousands of children will be at risk of starvation.
While some people are now choosing to return to their homes after years of displacement, they still face challenges. Poor weather conditions and other stresses threaten the stability of entire communities, and continue to make families vulnerable to food insecurity and loss of livelihoods.
- Emergency response: Distributing food and clean water to displaced and returnee families.
- Conflict & Governance: Providing technical assistance to help build local governments' capacity and accountability.
- Economic opportunity: Providing training, cash assistance and livelihood support to restore incomes and strengthen local economy.
- Children & Youth: Increasing education, economic and civic participation opportunities for youth to reduce instability.
- Women & Gender: Promoting equitable opportunities and garnering community support for girls and women to attend school.
All stories about Somalia
Somalia: Benti and her family in a Mogadishu displacement camp
Benti and her family walked for more than 30 days to reach the displacement camp in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, where they now live in this makeshift shelter alongside thousands of others.
Somalia: Walking for weeks to reach Mogadishu's sprawling camps
Somalia: In Mogadishu's overcrowded hospitals
Somalia: An unimaginable situation
Yesterday my colleague Cassandra Nelson, on the ground in Somalia, sent in several photographs of what she was seeing in Mogadishu, the country's crisis-ravaged capital to which our emergency response team has deployed.
Somalia: A family torn to pieces
Disasters take so many things from people; health, prosperity and hope can all fall victim. But no one can know what life has in store for them, and all we can do is carry on — just as women like Nadifo, who has struggled with some of the worst possible circumstances, has had to do.
Somalia: Testifying before the U.S. Senate about the Horn of Africa crisis
Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan: Horror in the Horn of Africa: reflections and projections
I first encountered extreme poverty and hunger in 1972 when I drove through Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia on a church mission trip. It struck me in the heart and I felt helpless.
Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya: Situation worsens in the Horn of Africa, our response increases
Today, the United Nations officially declared a famine in parts of Somalia. What does this alarming news mean? Technically, it refers to conditions that include 30 percent acute malnutrition among the population of a specific place.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia: Not just hunger, but fear
Nearly everyone in the world experiences hunger at some point during their day. That said, it's different for all of us.
Somalia: Will the U.S. stand by as famine looms in Somalia?
"The drought has gotten so bad that we have seen camels dying of thirst," recounted a Mercy Corps colleague during my recent visit to Somalia.