A combination of pervasive insecurity, combined with recurrent drought and chronic underdevelopment has left millions of Somalis in need of urgent and sustained humanitarian assistance. Nearly three million people in the country are facing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity.  A report released earlier this month by the Famine Early Warning System Network warned that the risk of famine is increasing. In 2011, a famine in Somalia claimed at least 260,000 lives — half of them children.

 

The severe drought in Somalia is a result of last year’s failed rainy seasons. The difficult conditions have wiped out crops and killed livestock. Godqaboobe village in Sool region. (Photo: Pedram Yazdi/ICRC)

Halima Yusuf Ibrahim, 60, photographed in Doop village, in the Sanaag region of Somaliland, which has been devastated by an ongoing drought. Most of her livestock died due to the water shortage and she now struggles to look after her 14 children. (Photo: Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville / IFRC)

Kinsi Abdi Farah, 35, visits a Red Crescent water point in Doop village in the Sanaag region of Somaliland, which has been hard hit by 2 years of poor rainfall, resulting in livestock death, health issues, and severe water shortages. Since the death of her sister at the height of the drought, Farah has been looking after her 1 year old nephew who has been treated for malnutrition at the mobile clinic. (Photo: Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville / IFRC)

A Somali Red Crescent medical officer registers a patient during a mobile clinic visit to Doop village in the Sanaag region of Somaliland. Sanaag has been hard hit by 2 years of poor rainfall, resulting in livestock death, health issues, and severe water shortages. (Photo: Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville / IFRC)

Bile Elmi Abdi left Sarmanyo and settled in Tukaraq village, 150km away to be close to water point. Like him, a number of pastoralist settled around the villages having lost their way of life. “People from the four regions have camped here because of the drought.” said Bile. (Photo: Pedram Yazdi / ICRC)

Somali Red Crescent staff oversee the distribution in Tukaraq village. The Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS), ICRC’s main humanitarian partner in Somalia, has a vast network of volunteers across the country. Their proximity to the communities helps both organizations better understand the needs of the people. (Pedram Yazdi / ICRC)

Salah Jama Hamoud, head of Doop village in the Sanaag region of Somaliland says his community has been devastated by an ongoing drought after 2 years of poor rainfall. (Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville / IFRC)

Abdulai, Disaster response Manager for the Somali Red Crescent talks with villagers during a visit of the mobile clinic in Doop village in the Sanaag region of Somaliland, which has been hard hit by 2 years of poor rainfall, resulting in livestock death, health issues, and severe water shortages. (Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville / IFRC)