Somalia: Drought - 2015-2018Ongoing
The 2015-2016 El Niño phenomenon had a severe impact on vulnerable people in Somalia - it worsened an already widespread drought in Puntland and Somaliland with a devastating impact on communities and their livelihoods, increasing food insecurity, cash shortages and resulting in out-migration and death of livestock. Those affects are now emerging in other areas of the country, specifically in Jubaland in the south. Somaliland and Puntland have experienced below average rains for up to four seasons, spanning two years, and affecting nearly 1.4 million people. (OCHA, 28 Nov 2016)
The humanitarian situation in Somalia is rapidly deteriorating and famine is a strong possibility in 2017. This comes only six years after a devastating famine led to the death of more than a quarter of a million people – half of them children. The severe drought is a result of two consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, more in some areas. In the worst affected areas, large-scale crop failure and high levels of livestock deaths are occurring. Malnutrition and drought-related diseases are on the rise, so are displacements, including to Ethiopia. Increasing competition for resources such as water is already increasing local tensions and could trigger further inter-communal conflict. Over 6.2 million people-half the population-are in need of humanitarian assistance. The situation of children of Somalia is particularly grave. (OCHA, 17 Feb 2017)
As of 31 May 2017, there had been an estimated 739,000 drought displacements since November 2016...More than 480,000 of the displaced, or 65 per cent, are under the age of 18. Moreover, people under 5 years old represent more than one-quarter (195,000) of all those displaced — and are the most at risk of malnutrition and disease. (UNHCR, 31 May 2017)
3.2 million people are severely food insecure. This situation is expected to persist throughout 2017 given the high likelihood of a third consecutive poor harvest in July. Access to food is relatively better than previously projected due to large-scale humanitarian assistance...102,263 people have been treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) since January. SAM admissions have increased by more than 50% since 2016. The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU)’s post-Jilaal 2017 survey indicates a high prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (15% to 30%) in the Bay, Bakool, Sool, Sanaag, Bari and Nugal regions, as well as in Baidoa and Mogadishu IDP camps. (OCHA, 16 Jun 2017)
While the latest FSNAU assessments show a decrease of the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance from 6.7 million to 6.2 million people, the threat of localized famine countered by scaled-up humanitarian response is as relevant today as it was in the first months of this crisis. The Gu harvest will provide temporary relief for some communities in terms of food availability, but the harvest is reduced due to poor rains and access to food remains constrained. Prices will remain elevated through at least early 2018. Malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily, though not exclusively among displaced populations. Overall, some 388,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children. Nearly 895,000 internally displaced people due to drought and conflict rely almost exclusively on assistance for basic services and life support. Major AWD/Cholera and measles outbreaks are also of continued concern. Through robust humanitarian assistance and the modest benefits from the underperforming Gu rains, the situation has stabilized but remains of serious concern at emergency levels. Whereas there is a modest decline in the number of people in need, there is an increase in the number of persons in the emergency-phase (IPC 4) compared to the previous assessment. When the threat of famine was announced in February, the number of people in need stood at 6.2 million. (OCHA, 31 Aug 2017)
Humanitarian partners are closely following what could become another failed rainy season in a context of continued risk of famine and deteriorating humanitarian indicators. According to the October Rainfall Update for Somalia by the FAO-managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), the Deyr 2017 rainy season, which usually runs from October to December, kicked off in the last week of September in the north eastern areas and second week of October in southern and central regions. Many places in Bay, Bakool, Gedo and Middle Juba received rains at the start of the season. (OCHA, 30 Oct 2017)
Food security is expected to improve for agricultural and agropastoral households in January with the Deyr harvest. In both areas, though, improvements will be short‐lived and many households will face food consumption gaps through mid‐2018. In a worst‐case scenario of an extended absence of assistance, Famine (IPC Phase 5) remains possible, and continued large‐scale assistance is needed throughout 2018 to protect lives and livelihoods. (FEWSNET, 30 Dec 2017)
Appeals & Response Plans
Maps & Infographics
Most read (last 30 days)
- Crop Prospects and Food Situation, No. 2, June 2018
- Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Ursula Mueller, Presentation of the Global Humanitarian Overview Status Report, June 2018
- Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 1 May - 3 June 2018
- Somalia: Humanitarian Dashboard - May 2018 (issued on 14 June 2018)
- IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa - May 2018 Bulletin
This quarterly update is compiled by OCHA ROSEA to support growth in innovative policy, practice and partnerships in humanitarian action to better engage with disaster-affected communities across Southern and Eastern Africa.
Agnes Schneidt, Innovation Officer (Energy and Environment), looks back on UNHCR’s operations in Uganda and lessons learned for the future:
• Children on the move:
Natural disasters and conflict has forced 8.5 million people to flee their homes across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Conflict is the largest driver of displacement – with children often witnessing or experiencing horrific violence, exploitation and abuse.
• Families facing starvation:
More than 12 million children go to bed hungry across South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya everyday. Children don’t have enough to eat because of various crises – drought, conflict, flooding or hyperinflation.
• Humanitarian situation:
The combined effect of the flash flooding and the Tropical Storm ‘Sagar’ that occurred in central, southern and northeastern regions of Somalia has affected an estimated 830,000 people, of which nearly 290,000 have been temporarily displaced. The flooding has destroyed farmlands, infrastructure and roads, and disrupted livelihoods in the worst-hit areas.
During the month of April the main driver that has impacted the operation’s context was flash and riverine floods.
The flash and riverine floods affected around 427,000 persons and left 199,000 displaced in southern and central part of the country.
The monitoring agencies predict that the Gu rains will continue and possible causing flash and riverine floods.
Early Gu rains caused floods
Updates on achievements
UNHCR together with governmental counterparts and partners assist and coordinate repatriation of Somali refugees. Since the beginning of the voluntary return programme in December 2014, 81,677 Somali refugees were supported to repatriate from eight countries of asylum (4,940 this year). Each Somali family receive the enhanced return package that supports returnees in restarting their lives and restoring their livelihoods after return.
Protection and return management
*by Sini Maria Heikkila, Humanitarian Policy Officer Tearfund and *
Denis Kongere, Regional Drought Policy and Campaigns Manager, Oxfam
‘Trends in humanitarian funding: where are we now and what lies ahead’ at the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment
Conference Room 12, United Nations, New York, 08:30 a.m. 19 June 2018
Excellencies, distinguished guests,
Having heard from Development Initiatives about funding trends through 2017, I am pleased to present the mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview Status Report.
Canada’s unique commitment to addressing humanitarian needs in protracted crises
Little to no Gu rainfall leavesmost regions dry in early June
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR DECEMBER 2018
This World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, read stories from Somalia, where only a year after the country declared drought as a national emergency, a famine has been successfully averted
Four farmers and entrepreneurs share the stories of how they broke out from cycles of drought with help from the FAO, the ICRC, the World Bank and GFDRR, and partners like USAID and DFID
The February-June 2018 IPC projection for Somalia (issued at the end of January 2018) was based on the following main assumptions:
A harsh 2018 Jilaal (Jan-Mar)
Likely below average 2018 Gu (Apr-Jun) rainfall across most parts of Somalia
Limited/no humanitarian assistance
A total Somalia population of 12.3 million with the following breakdown: 5.2 million urban, 6 million rural and 1.1 million IDPs (see table below)
12 June, 2018 - Somalia connects disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development to reach 2030 Agenda and Paris Goals
By Umberto Labate and Keith Bettinger
By Issa Sikiti da Silva
This article is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17.
DAKAR, Senegal, Jun 11 2018 (IPS) - Hope, smiles and new vitality seem to be returning slowly but surely in various parts of the Sahel region, where the mighty Sahara Desert has all but ‘eaten’ and degraded huge parts of landscapes, destroying livelihoods and subjecting many communities to extreme poverty.
Somalia is facing a severe humanitarian crisis triggered by multiple natural disasters and long term political instability which are having a crippling effect on the country’s economy. Recovery efforts have not yet provided state building opportunities due to the fragile institutions in place and the rapidly changing natural phenomena that have led to an increase in population vulnerability to hazards.