Key facts:

Hazards covered by anticipation    

Drought | Epidemic (Cholera)

No of people reached by anticipation (activiation)

START Network Cholera activation: 48, 914

Anticipation partners in country    

START Network: Trocaire, Relief International, Concern Worldwide | FAO

Inform Risk Index    

Hazard and Exposure: 8.9

Vulnerability: 9.3

Lack of Coping Capacity: 8.9

Total: 9.0 (very high risk)

Rank: 1


Photo by Corrie Butler / IFRC

Country Profile

Somalia is one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. It is ranked the most at-risk country on the INFORM risk index and one of the lowest on the Human Development Index. The open conflict in Southern and Central Somalia causes large numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs). In addition, Somalia is confronted with a variety of natural hazards, of which drought and floods pose the most severe risk to the population. Together with cyclones, heatwaves, wildfires and water scarcity, these hazards have enormous impacts on people’s livelihoods and degrade their coping mechanisms.

Drought accounts for the highest impact in terms of mortality and economic losses. Somalia’s economy is based primarily on rain-fed agricultural and is therefore particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in water availability and climate. Drought causes crop loss, which contributes to food insecurity and conflict over resources. Erratic rainfall and declining groundwater levels often lead to an increase in conflict over water.

Floods frequently coincide with the seasonal cultivation periods and typically originate from heavy rainfall along cyclone pathways. Floods are exacerbated by human factors, such as environmental and land degradation. The impacts associated with floods include damage to housing and transport infrastructure, disruption of social services, loss of livelihoods, and increases in animal and human diseases. Inundation in low lying areas may last for weeks, sometimes months, leading to total loss of crops and significant loss of livestock.


In 2019 START Network funded Relief International and Trocaire to take action in anticipation of a cholera outbreak, reaching nearly 49,000 people (alert 308).

FAO is working to support early action for drought in Somalia.