The humanitarian situation in Somalia is rapidly deteriorating and renewed famine is a strong possibility in 2017. Out of 12.3 million Somalis, over half (6.2 million) are acutely food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance. Of these, nearly 3 million face food security Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) and need urgent life-saving assistance. Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people are on the move in search of food, water and treatment for malnutrition and diseases. Rural populations make up two thirds of the people in IPC Phases 3 and 4, and nearly 90 per cent of those in IPC Phase 4. Close to one million acutely malnourished children will need treatment, including 200,000 severely malnourished children who are more vulnerable than any other group and in need of immediate life-saving support.
Extreme lack of access to water is a key driver of the crisis in arid areas. Due to the depletion of water sources, some communities are relying on buying water at prices which are on the increase, beyond the reach of many. Over 4.5 million people are now in need of WASH assistance. Those who resort to unsafe water sources are at increased risk of water-borne diseases such as AWD/cholera. According to WHO, 15,655 AWD/cholera cases and 365 deaths have been reported between January and 20 March 2017, and the outbreak has now spread to 12 out of 18 regions. The number of cases has reached same levels reported for all of 2016 when Somalia experienced its most recent major outbreak of AWD/Cholera. The current case fatality rate is 2.3 per cent which is higher than the emergency threshold of 1 per cent and reflects the severity of the outbreak plus the limited access to proper health service for the affected communities.
The widespread water and pasture shortages have forced people to migrate in search of food and water for domestic and livestock use. Between November 2016 and the end of February 2017, around 257,000 people have been internally displaced due to drought, according to the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN). Most of the newly displaced are moving into urban areas and joining existing settlements or establishing new settlements, while others are crossing into neighbouring countries. In Baidoa alone, close to 50,000 people have arrived since November, and the number of settlements for IDPs has increased from 78 to 140 sites. According to UNHCR, over 4,100 people have crossed into Ethiopia in January and February 2017 (OCHA, 24 Mar 2017)
Light rains are expected to prevail for the next 3 days in a few places within Puntland and Somaliland as well as the coastal areas of southern regions in Somalia.
The cumulative rainfall forecast for the week which ends on 21 May 2017 shows light to moderate in parts of Somaliland, Puntland and coastal areas of southern Somalia including the Ethiopian highlands. Most of the rains are expected towards the end of the week. Other parts of the country will remain dry during the forecast period. The river levels are also expected to rise given the forecast.
The late onset of seasonal rains (March-May) has affected central, northwestern and southeastern Kenya, Uganda’s Karamoja region, and southern and central Somalia.
Flash floods are ongoing in Somalia’s Bari, Madung and Bay regions. FAO SWALIM expects increased water levels in the Juba and Shabelle river basins.
In Kenya , torrential rains have caused floods and landslides in Kwale, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Garissa counties, including in Dadaab camp.
At least six people were killed and nine others injured when rival clan militias clashed in central Somalia, residents and community elders said on Saturday.
The militiamen belonging to the Air and Duduble sub-clans started fighting early Saturday morning in Labi-Aano village, 45 km east of Dhuusamareeb. The fight is over a dispute and clan vendetta.
Early May rainfall below average in central regions
Rains intensify across the region in late April, early May
Late season rains intensified across the region during the past several weeks, reducing rainfall deficits across some drought-affected areas of the Eastern Horn. While these rains are likely to contribute to improvements in cropping prospects and pasture and water availability in some areas, flooding has already resulted in damage in localized areas of Kenya, and may affect parts of Ethiopia and southern Somalia in the coming weeks.
Over half the population facing acute food insecurity
(IPC 2, 3 and 4)
2/3 of people in IPC 3 & 4 are in rural areas. 9 in 10 of those facing famine (IPC 4) are rural
People displaced due to drought since November 2016
Time it takes for rural people to become self-sufficient again after being displaced
- Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
by Sadia Kidwai
Many of Dadaab’s residents are entirely dependent on the food rations they receive from NGOs. But funding for food aid has reduced dramatically
Last month I visited Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya - one of the world’s largest refugee camps and home to tens of thousands of Somalis. It is there in the Ifo sub-camp that Islamic Relief is responsible for providing primary health care and education for 70,000 people.
The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on 11 May 2017, co-chaired by the UK, the Federal Republic of Somalia, the United Nations and the African Union, and attended by 42 friends and partners of Somalia. The Federal Republic of Somalia’s delegation was led by His Excellency President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and included representatives of the Federal Member States.
At a glance
More than 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are experiencing famine or a credible risk thereof over the coming six months. To avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the four countries, humanitarian operations require more than US$6.3 billion in 2017. Of this amount $4.9 billion is urgently needed for life-saving assistance in the key areas of food security, health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene, as these are key sectors of famine response and prevention.
LONDON, May 11, 2017- On the sidelines of the UK-hosted Conference on Somalia, the Somali government and high level business actors endorsed a Public-Private Cooperation Agreement to Accelerate Somalia’s Economic Recovery. The event was supported by the World Bank Group and the British Department for International Development (DFID) and was opened by His Excellency Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmaajo”, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and Rt. Hon Priti Patel, UK Secretary of State for International Development.
Recent seasonal rainfall helps partially alleviate abnormal dryness in East Africa
Despite rainfall during early March, significant long-term moisture deficits remain throughout central and eastern Madagascar due to very poor rains earlier in the season.
Inconsistent rainfall since late December have led to moisture deficits and deteriorating ground conditions across many parts of western Angola.
By Chagmion Antoine
No one should ever have to choose between starving to death and exposure to HIV, however millions of women and children struggling to survive in the drought-stricken countries of southern Africa aren’t being given a choice.
Read the full story here
11 May 2017 – Opening a major conference on Somalia, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged the international community to support security efforts in the country battling Al-Shabaab and aid the more than six million Somalis affected by the violence and a deadly drought.
UN Secretary-General: “We fear the worst”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Just over two months ago, I travelled to Mogadishu and Baidoa to spotlight the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.
I chose this for my first visit as Secretary-General to the field because I remember too well the tragic situation in 2011. I could never forget the devastation, displacement, drought, famine and desperation.
11 MAY 2017 | GENEVA - WHO is concerned by the chronic shortage of funding for life-saving work in Somalia in response to the ongoing drought that has plunged the country further towards famine, disease, and health insecurity. Drought in Somalia led to the destruction of crops and livestock, leaving more than 3.3 million people hungry every day. If the current situation continues, famine could soon be a reality, creating a devastating cycle of hunger and disease as the health of people deteriorates and they become more susceptible to infection.
As the UN doubles the funding target needed to deliver its Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia this year, new figures show that nearly 700,000 people have been displaced by hunger in the country, which is facing the most catastrophic drought since 1950.
This is on top of more than one million people already displaced in Somalia, where attendees of today’s London Somalia Conference are urgently trying to prevent an outbreak of famine.