Extreme drought in Somalia displaces more than 1 million people

horn of africa drought

Extreme, multi-season drought in Somalia has displaced more than 1 million people, as of August 11, 2022.

  • The Horn of Africa has experienced its fourth consecutive failed rainy season, with the last one (March – May) considered the worst on record.
  • Extreme drought conditions are killing livestock and crops, displacing populations, increasing the risk of disease and malnutrition, and pushing children and families to the brink of death and destitution.
  • As climate models predict a continuation of La Niña conditions, the Horn of Africa is now facing its fifth failed rainy season.

June and July saw another large spike in displacement in Somalia, as people who were hoping for rains to arrive lost hope after an unprecedented fourth back-to-back season failed.1

Bay region, where most new arrivals were recorded in July (40%), is of particular concern. Of these new arrivals, 99% originated from other areas within the Bay region where the global acute malnutrition rate has been found to be above 30%.

Across the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Somalia), more than 20 million people, including at least 10 million children, are currently experiencing severe drought conditions.2

More than 8.5 million people, including 4.2 million children, are facing dire water shortages across the region.

The nutrition situation in the region is becoming catastrophic as malnutrition rates are increasing, particularly in Ethiopia, and in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya and Somalia with more than 1.8 million children expected to be wasted in 2022.

Overall, 15 million children are now out of school in the region and an additionally estimated 3.3 million children are at risk of dropping out due to drought.

With climate models predicting a continuation of La Niña conditions, the Horn of Africa will most likely face its historic fifth failed rainy season from October to November.


1 Somalia – Extreme drought, risk of famine, displacement (DG ECHO, OCHA, IOM, UNHCR) – August 11, 2022

2 Horn of Africa drought crisis – UNICEF – July 2022

Featured image: DFID


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