10 years since the Somalia Famine Declaration, World Vision warns that today, more than 41 million people in over 40 nations are one step away from starvation and urgent action is needed

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021Today marks the 10-year anniversary since the Somalia famine was officially declared, which resulted in over 260,000 deaths, including 133,000 children, mostly under the age of 5.

The international community said, ‘never again’, but now, the world faces a hunger crisis that threatens the lives of over 41 million people in more than 40 nations. Without an immediate and urgent international response tens of thousands of children could die, warns World Vision.

Among the hungry, more than half a million people are already living under famine-like conditions, while tens of millions are on the edge of starvation. 

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President & CEO, said: “This is a children’s crisis. Half of those who died in 2011 in Somalia were children under 5, and it is heart-breaking that millions of girls and boys are being pushed to the brink of starvation once again.

“Hunger robs children of their childhood, and families of their dignity and denies them the opportunity to reach their God-given potential. There is simply no excuse for this.

Millions of children need us to act now. We call on the international community to join us, and to increase funding immediately before it is too late.”

The global food crisis is due to a toxic mix of conflict, climate change and the economic impact of COVID-19.

Food assistance must be rapidly scaled up and delivered if starvation is to be averted.


Note to editor

Background: The Somalia famine of 2011-2012 was the last large-scale famine since the IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) system was established in 2006. It led to 260,000 deaths, half of whom were children under five years of age, by the time the famine was ‘undeclared’ in February 2012.  It’s estimated that half of the people who died did so before the formal famine declaration was issued by the international community on July 20th, 2011. 

Today more than 41 million people are one step away from starvation. A deadly mix of conflictclimate change and the economic fallout of  COVID-19 are driving ever worsening hunger for millions of children and their families.

World Vision is present in most hunger crises contexts, meeting need with declared responses, via ongoing long-term fragile context operations or through development activities focused on food assistance, nutrition and livelihoods support. World Vision is responding with food assistance programming in multiple countries around the globe including DR Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, Uganda and Venezuela. Refugees, the displaced and the most vulnerable are among those targeted.  

World Vision is committed to urgently scaling up response activities, including with its largest partner, the World Food Programme.

For further information or to organise an interview, please contact: Niamh Cooper |  Director of Media and Social Media Engagement | niamh_cooper@wvi.org | Skype: Niamh.cooper5 | Phone: +353 87 942 337

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision