Food and power in Somalia have been intimately linked for decades. Ranging from land grabs and the manipulation of food aid to looting and diversion of aid – and entangled in the geopolitics of the so-called War on Terror – food has played a role in Somalia’s political economy. The political economy of food has been examined for the 1990s, but less so for the famines of the 2000s. This study examines how the political economy of food has changed in the past 10 to 15 years, with shifts in governance and in aid. Changes in governance include the establishment of Al-Shabaab (following the rise and fall of the Islamic Courts Union) as Somalia’s principal Islamic extremist group, which controlled most of south-central Somalia from 2006. From 2012, Somalia has had an internationally recognised federal government, following previous attempts at installing governments in 2000 and 2004. Changes in aid include the shift from food aid to cash transfers and a focus on nutrition during periods when people suffered famine and humanitarian crisis in 2008, 2011, and 2017.
This work is part of the Conflict Research Programme managed by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and funded by the UK Department for International Development
Jaspars, Susanne, Adan, Guhad M. and Majid, Nisar (2019) Food and power in Somalia: business as usual? A scoping study on the political economy of food following shifts in food assistance and in governance. . Conflict Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
Food and power in Somalia: business as usual? A scoping study on the political economy of food following shifts in food assistance and in governance