Inside Story

Should famine be declared in Somalia?

Humanitarian agencies have issued warnings for months about extreme hunger and malnutrition.

Somalia is facing “full-blown” famine. Humanitarian agencies have issued warnings like this for months.

UNICEF says conditions are worse now than during the previous famine in 2011.

However, no one has made an official declaration.

The World Food Programme says the lives of 7.1 million people – nearly half the population – are in immediate danger because there is not enough food. Some 1.5 million children are malnourished.

Four failed rainy seasons have led to the worst drought in 40 years, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made staples such as grains and cooking oil unaffordable.

So what is preventing an official announcement of famine?

And would it make a difference on the ground?

Presenter: Nastasya Tay


Guhad Adan – Research associate, London School of Economics

Afyare Elmi – Executive director, Heritage Institute for Policy Studies

Hodan Ali – Adviser to mayor of Mogadishu