Somalia: Food brings hope amid conflict and drought

WFP_Africa
World Food Programme Insight
2 min readMay 16, 2023

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WFP reached record numbers of drought and conflict-affected people in Somalia with food and nutrition assistance in 2022. Photo: WFP/Patrick Mwangi

By Patrick Mwangi

Jeexdin camp has been Mohamed’s home for the past two years. Conflict forced him and his family to flee their home and make the 200-kilometre journey to seek safety in this camp for internally displaced people in Galkayo district in central Somalia.

Conflict is not the only driver of needs in this part of Somalia. A severe drought caused by five consecutive failed rainy seasons — the longest in the country’s recorded history — and economic shocks such as rising food and energy prices are compounding the impact of conflict. Tens of thousands of people have been killed by the drought, millions of livestock have perished and livelihoods have been devastated.

Mohamed’s herd of 25 goats — a source of milk, meat and income — also died in the drought. Unable to support his family, Mohamed sent his wife and four children to Mogadishu — the country’s capital city — in search of a better life.

“There have been many droughts in Somalia,” says Mohamed, “But this is worse than I have ever experienced,” he says.

Mohamed is one of almost 29,000 people living in Jeexdin camp. Photo: WFP/Patrick Mwangi

Today, Mohamed is dependent on the World Food Programme (WFP) for humanitarian assistance. He receives a monthly food ration of pulses, vegetable oil and wheat.

The wheat is donated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) and supports 40,000 conflict and drought-displaced people in Galkayo district and 54,000 in the southern Somali district of Kismayo.

“We use the wheat to make porridge and Somalia anjero (flat bread),” says Mohamed.

In 2022, WFP reached record numbers of drought-affected people in Somalia with life-saving food and nutrition assistance — reaching over five million people every month by the end of December. Partly because of these efforts, no famine is currently declared or projected in the country.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre is a key supporter of WFP’s humanitarian operations in Somalia. Photo: WFP/Patrick Mwangi

Mohamed is generous with the food he receives and does his best to help others in need.

“I listen to the concerns of other residents because I am one of the elders,” he says, “Everyone is suffering, and I share my food with my neighbours send money to my wife and children when I can.”

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