Journal Article

Global Implications of Somalia 2011 for Famine Prevention, Mitigation and Response

Published on 3 December 2012

The famine in Somalia 2011–2012 is a call for critical reflection and improvement. This article reviews lessons emerging from the series of articles in this special edition of Global Food Security, and identifies global implications for famine prevention, mitigation, and response in five key areas: the delay in response, the criteria for declaring a famine, the response, humanitarian space, and accountability.

Three areas are identified for further research, including implications of Somalia 2011 for practice and policy; linkages to the resilience agenda and the imperative to prevent —not just respond to—famine; and implications for famine theory. Whether or not famines continue to be part of human existence or are finally relegated to history depends on how well we learn from the experience of Somalia 2011– 2012, and how well this learning is incorporated into future policy and practice.


Stephen Devereux

Research Fellow

Simon Maxwell

Emeritus Fellow

Publication details

published by
Haan, N., Devereux, S. and Maxwell, D.
Global Food Security, issue Special Issue on the Somalia Famine of 2011-2012


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