There’s a perfect storm raging in the Horn of Africa. Prolonged drought, conflict, global inflation, and now a shortage of grain due to the Ukraine conflict–has millions of people facing food insecurity. In Somalia alone, over 7 million people are in urgent need of food and water—that’s half the country’s population and equal the populations of Los Angeles and Chicago, combined. Despite all of this, the ICRC has been addressing food insecurity for decades in Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa and looking at alternative sustainable solutions. In this episode we speak with Alyona Synenko, an ICRC spokesperson in east Africa, about why we provide this emergency assistance and what long term solutions look like. We then turn to a story from Mohamed Abdille Abdi, an economic security expert in Somalia, who tells us about one assistance program and the challenges of distributing on the ground.

Millions of people in Somalia continue to face the severe consequences of the drought. Since the beginning of 2022, the ICRC has been scaling up its assistance and relief operations in the country, particularly for internally displaced people. (Photo Credit: Ismail Taaxta/ICRC)

Mohamed Abdille Abdi, an economic security expert with the Nairobi Delegation, says herding is a way of life for many communities in rural Somalia, and a main source of income. (Photo Credit: Abdikarim Mohamed/ICRC)

After Mohamed and his team visit these villages, they have the arduous decision to determine how much cash to give each household. They often have to ask tough moral questions. (Photo Credit: Abdikarim Mohamed)

The ICRC is also working with communities affected by conflict and climate to help them adapt their sources of income to include work like beekeeping to produce honey. (Photo Credit: Abdikarim Mohamed)

Other efforts are being made to help farmers adapt to climate change by providing them with drought-resistant seeds. (Photo Credit: Abdikarim Mohamed)

Important Links

Read more about the humanitarian consequences of climate and conflict: When Rain Turns To Dust

Learn more about the ICRC’s efforts to advocate for communities affected by conflict and global food insecurity.

Watch this video of Dadir Ahmed Adan running his store in the Shul Gadud camp for internally displaced peoples.