Healthy Animals - Healthy People - Healthy Environment





13 million people live in Somalia, which has a surface of 637'657 square kilometers. The infant rate is extremely high, with 90 deaths per 1000 births.


For over 20 years, Somalia has faced civil war and subsequent clan conflicts which interrupted basic services to the Somalis. Since the collapse of the central government in 1991, provision of higher education has been nearly nonexistent especially in veterinary medicine. Most of the senior veterinarians left the country to seek asylum abroad. Clan conflicts and harsh conditions in pastoral areas have forced those who remained in the country to move to urban centers.

The country has also been struggling with recurrent climatic shocks such as droughts and floods with increasing frequency. The two last rainy seasons have been so poor that the whole country as well as the entire Horn of Africa are facing a drought emergency: “All indications are that crop farmers are already facing a second consecutive season with poor harvest. Pastoralists, meanwhile, are struggling to provide food for both their families and livestock, as pasture and water for grazing their animals are becoming poorer and scarcer by the day - in the south, pasture availability is the lowest it has been in the past five years”, as stated by the FAO.

In December 2016, already 5 million of Somalians were food insecure and the FAO forecasts show that this number will already rise in the first quarter of 2017. In 2011, such conditions lead to famine and death.

VSF-Suisse provide in Somalia an emergency assistance, notably with the training of veterinarian-auxiliaries but also with the implementation of animal healthcare, in order to increase the production of milk and meat and thus improve food safety.