people face an acute shortage of food


of livestock died during the drought


cases of acute diarrhoea and 1,159 deaths from diarrhoea-related dehydration were reported in 2017


people have been displaced from their homes by drought since November 2016

About Somalia

Famine was declared in Somalia in 2011, affecting more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa region. Some 260,000 people died of starvation.

The current crisis in East Africa is a result of several seasons of no or low rains, combined with the most extreme El Niño in 50 years. This has created an unprecedented situation. Some 19 million people in East Africa now face crisis levels of food insecurity – a 30 per cent increase compared to only a year ago.

Three consecutive years of drought and several years of diminished food production have resulted in crop failures, livestock deaths, lack of food, rising prices, migration and a severe shortage of clean water. Outbreaks of communicable disease have also been recorded at rising levels. Cases of acute watery diarrhoea have been recorded in Somalia in epidemic proportions. Many people in these areas are pastoral communities and heavily depend on livestock and farming.

The most urgent needs centre around food, nutrition, water and health. There is a need to both step up the immediate humanitarian response to save lives, and to prevent a catastrophe in the months ahead.

How we do it

Emergency Response

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Cash Programming

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Our Work in Somalia

Tearfund has been working in Somalia since 2008, mostly through a network of established local partners. Our work is focused within Somaliland, a semi-autonomous state within Somalia.

We are responding to the current disaster by:

  • Driving in fresh water in trucks
  • Providing extremely vulnerable families with cash to cover their most critical needs
  • Disseminating hygiene education
  • Offering nutritional supplementary support
  • Overseeing the repair of water points

This work during the dry season will save many lives.



individuals have benefited from unconditional cash grants.


children have been supported with nutritional supplements.


people have benefited from three rehabilitated water points.


people have been reached with hygiene promotion and education materials.

Pray for our work

  • Please continue to pray for those worst affected by the current drought and famine. Pray specifically for all who have been displaced by the crisis, as well as those who have remained in their communities and are struggling to survive.
  • Pray for protection and wisdom for those developing and implementing emergency relief programmes in Somalia. Lift up our local partner organisations who are working tirelessly to bring help to those in need.
  • Pray for those delivering food relief, water supplies, nutrition interventions, cash grants, training and education – for good access, good communication, and the ability to reach those most in need.
  • Ask God for communities to become more resilient to future disasters as a result of these programmes.

Stories from Somalia

Where we're working