Somalia Fact Sheet

Speeches Shim

USAID in Somalia - Background

  • In 2011 USAID partnered with the Somali people and is now strengthening that partnership as Somalis rebuild after decades of conflict.
  • On February 8, 2017 former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’, a dual US-Somali citizen, was elected as the country's new president.
  • The USG officially recognized the Government of Somalia on January 17, 2013.
  • UN-approved African Union Stabilization Force (AMISOM) has been active in Somalia since 2006.
  • Food security and nutrition conditions have improved since the height of the drought and famine in 2011- 2012, but Somalia continues to experience a significant humanitarian crisis.
  • Insecurity continues to limit humanitarian and development access.
  • Following consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, drought conditions persist across most of Somalia. An estimated 6.7 million people are expected to face crisis and emergency levels of acute food insecurity.
  • There are 881,162 Somali refugees in neighboring countries.
  • The administrative and security sectors account from more than 85% of total government spending.
  • Social services (education and health) are underfunded and accounted fo just 2% of the government budget in 2016.
  • Recent security improvements in key urban areas of southern Somalia provide a critical opportunity to address urgent needs and promote early recovery; international complacency at this time would have serious implications for long-term stability and viability. 

Quick Facts

  • Area: 637,657 square km – slightly smaller than Texas
  • Pop: 14.32 million (World Bank 2016 est.)
  • Religion: predominantly Sunni Muslim
  • Ethnic groups: Somali 85%, Bantu and other non- Somali 15% (including 30,000 Arabs)
  • Maternal mortality: 732 deaths of mothers/100,000 live births (UNICEF 2015 est.)
  • Infant mortality: 137 deaths/1,000 live births (UNICEF 2015 est.)
  • Literacy: 30% (UNICEF 2015 est.)
  • GDP: $6.22 billion (World Bank 2016 est.)
  • Trade deficit: 47% of GDP (World Bank 2016 est.)
  • Remittances: $1.4 billion (World Bank 2015 ext)