Projects / Campaigns

In Somalia, we provide support to communities affected by drought and instability.


Died in 2011's famine


Now impacted by drought


Living in IDP camps

Somalia has been wracked by civil war and conflict for over 25 years.

Militant groups such as Al-Shabaab – which the US designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008 – have controlled vast areas in the south of the country for the last decade, causing many internally displaced people (IDPs) to flee to northern areas such as the region of Puntland.

The resulting instability has caused a severe deterioration in living conditions for most of the population, which has been exacerbated by recent events such as floods and droughts. In 2011, just six short years ago, over 260,000 people starved to death in Somalia. In 2017, famine once again threatens thousands of families across the country.


Doctors of the World has operated a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) clinic in the port town of Bosaso in Puntland since 2011. Currently, more than 60,000 people live in 38 IDP camps spread throughout Bosaso. An additional 3,000 displaced people are scattered in rural areas outside of town. Puntland and Somaliland are currently experiencing drought conditions, exacerbated by a milder than normal rainy seasons (known locally as the Deyr). Outside of the rainy season, Somalia receives little rainfall; as a result, drought conditions often intensify, resulting in total crop failure in some areas. In Puntland, drought conditions are estimated to impact over 150,000 people.

“We are living here in Shahda camp because we have lost almost everything. Before we came, we were feeding cardboard and water to our animals” – Star Abdullahi, mother of 6.

As a result of the drought conditions there has been a sharp increase in cases of malnutrition, AWD (Acute Watery Diarrhea – a precursor to cholera and a direct cause of malnutrition) and cholera itself.

In response to the crisis, our teams have scaled up their capacity in Somalia. We are providing the Bosaso General Hospital with additional resources and increasing our activities such as early detection, prevention and treatment of AWD, cholera and malaria through our mobile units.

We are also focused on providing care in rural areas, which have little to no access to health and medical facilities. Our teams, alongside a variety of humanitarian actors, are working tirelessly to prevent a repeat of the 2011 famine. For the latest information on the drought crisis in Somalia, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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