A Somali child is measured for malnutrition at an Action Against Hunger clinic.
Photo: Khadija Farah for Action Against Hunger, Somalia
10.81 million
Our Team
138 employees
Program Start

People Helped in 2020: 1,435,789

People Reached by Nutrition and Health Programs 
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

Gripped by recurring droughts, chronic food shortages, and over 20 years of nearly incessant conflict, Somalia is one of the most challenging environments in the world for humanitarian operations. 

Malnutrition is driven by number of factors, including conflict, political instability, displacement, climate change, as well as limited access to healthcare and clean water, food insecurity, and poor hygiene and sanitation practices. Poor environmental conditions, limited access to water, and unsafe sanitation exacerbate the impact of food insecurity and drive increased levels of malnutrition and epidemics. Outbreaks of malaria, measles, diarrhea, cholera, and polio, combined with high malnutrition rates and limited access to services, lead to increased morbidity and mortality. Harsh conditions, violence, and displacement subject the population to psychological distress, resulting in social and mental health issues.

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In 2020, COVID-19 worsened Somalia’s longstanding humanitarian crisis, compounding the effects of conflicts, climate shocks, and weak social protection. There are an estimated 5.2 million people in need, including 893,000 people who have been displaced by floods, insecurity or conflict. Food insecurity is projected to rise by 40 percent and nearly one million children under five will be acutely malnourished by the end of 2021. The pandemic has further strained the already weak health system’s capacity to provide healthcare and had a direct impact on livelihoods, availability of basic commodities, and price increases.

Action Against Hunger's teams address the immediate and underlying causes of malnutrition. We improved access to nutrition treatment, education, and prevention measures to 76,959 people in 2020. Our teams also provided access to primary healthcare services to 175,525 people, improved access to clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene for 195,870 people, and supported 98,165 people through projects to improve food security and livelihoods. All of this work was carried out in close partnerships with local community actors and government ministries.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams launched new programs to raise awareness and provide community education, including through SMS and radio, and we integrated COVID-19 prevention measures into health promotion activities. 

Learn more about our programs in Somalia: Read our 2018 Capacity Statement here.