Conflict Resolution Studies Faculty Articles

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United States Institute of Peace


Famine, drought, Somalia

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Somalia is currently experiencing the worst drought and famine in over half a century. Half of the population (close to four million people) is dependent on food aid, while tens of thousands are estimated to have died since the drought began this past summer. In early September, the United Nations warned that as many as 750,000 people could die in the coming months if aid efforts are not ramped up. At least 150,000 have fled their homes seeking assistance in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps located in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and in refugee camps located in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. Mary Hope Schwoebel, a senior program officer in USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, has extensive experience in Somalia. Here, she discusses the latest crisis in Somalia and how it impacts security in the region.