Quarterly Brief - Outcome of Jilaal Dry Season (Jan-Mar '12)
The food security situation in Somalia improved considerably in post-Deyr 2011/12 compared to last year when a famine ravaged many of the southern parts of the country. In the April-June 2012 period, 2.51 million people across the country remain in food security phases of Crisis or Emergency as classified previously (January 2012). However, the number of people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) reduced in April-June 2012, as population in Juba and Gedo riverine livelihoods have improved from Emergency to Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The factors that contributed to these improvements include a sizable off-season maize harvest (March-April 2012) in Juba riverine and access to labour income for cash crop activities in Gedo riverine. The poor households in Gedo regions also have the highest terms-of trade (ToT) between labour and cereals in the country. Forecasts for near normal rains in the Ethiopian highlands should ensure availability of pump and gravity irrigation in Juba and Shabelle rivers, respectively. Irrigation access will provide the poor riverine population with opportunities for farm labour and own crop production. The factors that brought the country out of Famine (IPC Phase 5) such as impact of favorable Deyr season and the humanitarian support in the South, were largely present in the first quarter of the current year. The positive effects of both factors are reflected in the improved cereal supply in the country; presence of cereal stocks among many of the poor farmers; declining trend in cereal prices and a strengthening purchasing power; reduced cost of living for market-dependent population (urban, internally displaced persons (IDP), pastoral and large parts of agropastoral); largely sustained good to average livestock conditions; increased kidding/lambing; and improved livestock prices. The Jilaal dry season (Jan-Mar ’12) has been mild in most parts of the country apart from the areas in the North (Coastal Deeh of Bari, Sool Plateau, Nugaal Valley, Golis/Guban and pockets of Hawd livelihoods in Togdheer and W. Galbeed regions) where the last Deyr rainy season (Oct-Dec ’11) was below normal. Therefore, rangeland resources and livestock conditions deteriorated from below average to poor. FSNAU has initiated the dekadal field-based rainfall monitoring, which will allow for timely early warning of the impact of long rainy season on livelihoods. However, the food security situation in these parts of Somalia will remain unchanged up to June 2012, regardless of the behavior of Gu rains, which currently is projected to be below normal.