A Climate Emergency

Destroying rural livelihoods, contributing to mass displacement and with significant implications for peace, security and development, the Government of Somalia has identified climate change as the defining problem of our time. For more than half a century, a climate emergency has been growing and despite contributing little to global emissions, Somalia and the region are dangerously affected.

In recent times, droughts, floods and high temperatures have been becoming increasingly severe, occurring more often and droughts specifically are lasting for longer periods. Once a rare phenomenon, the frequency of droughts increased first to once every ten years, but severe droughts are now taking place every three to five years. Recurrent climate shocks on top of three decades of conflict have left families across the country with little time or ability to recover between emergencies.

Given such endemic vulnerabilities, drought and hunger are extrinsically linked in Somalia. A drought in 2011 led to a famine being declared and caused the death of approximately 250,000 people, while another drought in 2017 brought the country to the brink of famine, which was only averted by early and strong support from the international community, humanitarian partners and the global Somali family.