2021-2022 Trócaire Annual ReportLearn More
Paul Healy, Trócaire’s Country Director in Somalia, said the drought and hunger in Somalia is currently the worse he’s ever seen
Somalia is on the brink of famine. The current drought is the longest and most severe in Somalia’s history. With an estimated 8.25 million people, nearly half of Somalia’s population, in need of immediate lifesaving assistance – are things getting worse for the people of Somalia?
Since the 1990s, Somalia has been affected by regular disasters such as floods, drought, conflict, and epidemic outbreaks. In recent years, climate-related shocks, mainly drought and flooding, have increased in frequency and intensity, exacerbating humanitarian needs and undermining the country’s resilience.
The country is currently facing a rapidly unfolding humanitarian catastrophe, driven by the longest and most severe drought seen in at least 40 years. It is expected to continue well into 2023.
The current extreme, widespread, and persistent multi-season drought is unprecedented, and follows the historic failure of three consecutive rainy seasons. The current drought has surpassed the 2010/2011 and 2016/2017 droughts in terms of duration and severity, and is driving growing humanitarian needs.
There will likely be a sixth season of below-average rainfall from March to June 2023.
In addition to the famine projection in the Bay region and Mogadishu, several areas in central and southern Somalia have an increased Risk of Famine between April and June 2023 if the 2023 season rainfall turns out to be poorer than currently predicted and humanitarian assistance is not scaled up to reach the country’s most vulnerable populations.
Critically, climate change drives conflict in Somalia, and the struggle for dwindling resources between communities. New and protracted armed conflicts, insecurity and erratic weather have continued to push Somali civilians away from their homes and into overcrowded towns and cities.
Consequently, the number of IDPs has reached more than three million, one of the largest IDP populations in the world. The recent escalation of conflict has significant humanitarian consequences, including increased displacement and implications on humanitarian access.
Paul Healy, Trócaire’s Country Director in Somalia, said the drought and hunger in Somalia is currently the worse he’s ever seen it.
“It is catastrophic. We’ve just about avoided famine being declared in 2022, but the worst is still to come. There are millions and millions of people on the edge of starvation,” Mr Healy said.
In Somalia, Trócaire has been providing lifesaving health services for the past 30 years in the Gedo region, which is about the size of Ireland.
“I was in Dolow Hospital in Gedo a number of months ago, and I noticed a child come in who was very distressed. I got the doctor, but I watched that child die and I will never forget it. It is completely unacceptable that a baby would die of starvation, and that’s simply what it was. That day will stay with me for as long as I live,” Mr Healy said.
This year, Trócaire’s Lenten Appeal focuses on the people of Somalia and tells the story of one Somali family who are struggling to survive.
Ambiyo, her husband Mahat, and their eight children are among hundreds of thousands of Somalis forced to flee their home after a fourth year of drought in Somalia.
After their crops failed and the last of their goats died, their only option was to leave or stay and face starvation and death. After walking for three days, they arrived at a camp for displaced people with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Ambiyo was pregnant when she arrived at the camp and when she was giving birth, she experienced serious complications. She was taken to the nearby health centre run by Trόcaire where she and the baby received life-saving treatment.
Read more about the family here
Mr Healy thanked the people of Ireland for their continued support for the people of Somalia.
“My deepest thanks to the people of Ireland for your solidarity, your compassion, and your support for the people of Somalia who are at their darkest hour.
“Your donations to Trócaire have enabled us to scale up our response so that the most vulnerable, especially small children and babies, their lives are saved and they have some sort of a future. Thank you for your support. It’s deeply appreciated, and we will use every euro to the best of our ability, so that lives are saved and dignity is insured.”
To find out more about the Lenten Appeal or make a donation visit www.trocaire.org