IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Facing famine: Somali experiences in the famine of 2011

Listed author(s):
  • Maxwell, Daniel
  • Majid, Nisar
  • Adan, Guhad
  • Abdirahman, Khalif
  • Kim, Jeeyon Janet
Registered author(s):

    In 2011–12, Somalia experienced the worst famine of the twenty- first century. Since then, research on the famine has focused almost exclusively on the external response, the reasons for the delay in the international response, and the implications for international humanitarian action in the context of the “global war on terror.” This paper focuses on the internal, Somali response to the famine. Themes of diversification, mobility and flexibility are all important to understanding how people coped with the famine, but this paper focuses on the factor that seemed to determine whether and how well people survived the famine: social connectedness, the extent of the social networks of affected populations, and the ability of these networks to mobilize resources. These factors ultimately determined how well people coped with the famine. The nature of reciprocity, the resources available within people’s networks, and the collective risks and hazards faced within networks, all determined people’s individual and household outcomes in the famine and are related to the social structures and social hierarchies within Somali society. But these networks had a distinctly negative side as well—social identity and social networks were also exploited to trap humanitarian assistance, turn displaced people into “aid bait,” and to a large degree, determined who benefited from aid once it started to flow. This paper addresses several questions: How did Somali communities and households cope with the famine of 2011 in the absence of any state-led response—and a significant delay in a major international response? What can be learned from these practices to improve our understanding of famine, and of mitigation, response and building resilience to future crises?

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919216304900
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2016)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 63-73

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:65:y:2016:i:c:p:63-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.11.001
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
    2. Frank Ellis & Stephen Devereux & Phillip White, 2009. "Social Protection in Africa," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13393.
    3. Corbett, Jane, 1988. "Famine and household coping strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 1099-1112, September.
    4. Bernier, Quinn & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 2014. "Local sources of resilience: Working with social capital:," 2020 Conference briefs 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Bernier, Quinn & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 2014. "Resilience and social capital:," 2020 Conference papers 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:65:y:2016:i:c:p:63-73. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.