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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Learning from the 2011 Famine in Somalia

In 2011, people in Somalia suffered a catastrophic famine. Since 2012, a group from the Feinstein Center at Tufts University and the Rift Valley Institute has been conducting retrospective research on the famine in Somalia, and in the Horn of Africa region more broadly, with the aim of providing empirical evidence to help prevent or mitigate such crises in the future. The research has examined the causes of the famine, how different groups in Somalia experienced it, and international responses to the crisis.

A report examining some of the lessons arising from this international response to the famine in 2011 was published in August. It is available here

In a public meeting, hosted by the RVI’s Nairobi Forum on 13 November 2014, Dan Maxwell and Nisar Majid from the Feinstein Center at Tufts University presented the key research findings and discussed the policy implications. Khalif Abdullahi and Guhan Ahmed, researchers on the study read some samples of life stories of Somalis gathered during the research. They were joined on the panel by Abdullahi Khalif, Technical Manager at FEWS NET, Somalia, and the nutritionist Peter Hailey from WhatWorks. This meeting, which attracted an audience of over sixty people, was chaired by Marleen Renders, UNICEF Somalia.  

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