Somalia faced several obstacles for many years. This country has long history of civil wars. People of the country faced many natural disasters. Somalia is among the last five least developed countries among 170 others according to Human Development Index.
Somalia has an estimated population of 12 million. About 82 percent of Somalis are poor across multiple dimensions (health, education, standard of living). Overall, 73 percent of Somalis live on-under US$2 per day.
Life expectancy in Somalia is 51 years old, up from 47 in 2001. Right now, close to one million people are in need of emergency food assistance. An additional two million people are struggling to meet their basic food needs and risk falling into a food security and nutrition crisis if they don’t receive sustained humanitarian assistance.
Where there is less instability – such as in the northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland – the rural poverty and food security situation is less critical.
In much of the country, insecurity and lack of functional infrastructure have exacerbated already low crop yields. Poor access to irrigation is another contributing factor. In central and southern Somalia, irrigation is restricted to the relatively fertile areas around the Shabelle River, where the main crops are maize, rice, sesame, cowpeas, bananas, papayas, lemons, grapefruit and mangoes. Currently, only 20 to 30 per cent of land that was irrigable prior to the civil war can be irrigated.
Livestock is essential to the economy and is the chief source of food and foreign exchange income. Over 60 per cent of the population depends on livestock for food and income.
The 2011 drought led to the worst famine in 60 years. Worst affected were the Shabelle, Bay and Bakool regions. Despite the official end of the famine, 2.1 million people remain food-insecure and 236,000 children malnourished, 70 per cent of them in southern Somalia.