Region of Concern: Somalia
Written By: Claire Bracco; Edited by Amy McGee
Date: December 8, 2022
Drought in Somalia
Event: On December 7, 2022 the United Nations coordinator for Somalia warned of the effects that the ongoing drought in Somalia is having. The speech was delivered during a joint meeting between the UN and the League of Arab States. Somalia is currently suffering from its fifth consecutive failed rainy season. As the country continues to be affected by terrorist attacks and food insecurity, the drought is having devastating effects on the population. According to recent reports, nearly half of the population has been affected by the drought and near famine conditions in Somalia have increased five times since the beginning of the year.
Significance: This situation presents major risks to economic and social stability. It is very likely that the regional administration will come under increasing strain, with the authorities facing multiple emergencies, such as the ongoing food crisis and terror attacks. It is almost certain that the drought will lead to the displacement of people and to acute food insecurity. The crisis will very likely hinder the authorities’ efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and other seasonal diseases. Environmental degradation and economic hardships are very likely to trigger public discontent, as civilians face food and water shortages. This will likely lead to social unrest, as it did at the beginning of 2021. As global climate change progresses, such extreme weather events will almost certainly become more frequent in the country. This will likely intensify their negative environmental, economic, and social effects, and will make it harder for the authorities to respond and compensate for losses. As these events become more frequent and destabilizing, active terrorist groups in the region, such as Al-Shabaab, will likely exploit the situation to intensify recruitment activities.
Recommendations: Somalian and UN authorities are highly recommended to maintain maximum mobilization of emergency response services for as long as high temperatures and the drought persist. Organizations, such as the Somalia Humanitarian Fund, should continue setting up dedicated funds for compensating losses to affected individuals and families. If the situation deteriorates further, it is recommended that they prioritize energy and water supplies to economic and social infrastructure considered critical. It is recommended to the authorities to request additional help from international organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross. It is advised that they seek additional support from other regional and national authorities if deemed necessary. Maximum efforts should be devoted to the reduction of Al-Shabaab’s influence in the country to halt recruitment operations and terrorist attacks. This can be achieved in the short-term by treating the issue to its root, offering humanitarian and medical aid to the affected communities before they can be reached by terrorist organizations. In the long-term, efforts should be focused on improving education and awareness of civilians of the presence and activity of these violent organizations. Finally, it is recommended that military forces are deployed to help the population avoiding violence and force.
 UN warns of "catastrophic emergency" in Somalia, AfricaNews, 2022 https://www.africanews.com/2022/12/07/un-warns-of-catastrophic-emergency-in-somalia/
 As Somalia's unrest continues, US says it's 'prepared to consider all available tools', ABC News, 2022 https://abcnews.go.com/International/somalias-unrest-continues-us-prepared-tools/story?id=77336749