Somalia: Drought - 2015-2017Ongoing
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)
Appeals & Funding
- FAO Somalia Famine Prevention and Drought Response Plan January – December 2017, Update June 2017
- IOM East and Horn of Africa Drought Appeal April - December 2017
- Somalia Situation 2017 Supplementary Appeal January - December 2017
- Operational Plan for famine prevention (Jan-Jun 2017)
Mogadishu hosts the largest estimated protracted internally displaced population in Somalia, mainly living in informal IDP sites across the city. According to the Joint IDP Profiling Service (JIPS) 2016 profiling activity, findings show that during the last three years, the majority of IDPs have shifted from more central districts in Mogadishu to districts in the periphery of the city, which stands in contrast to previous studies carried out in Mogadishu.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained stable (4%) in Northeast and declined mildly (3%) in the Southern regions but increased mildly in Central and Northwest (30%) in September 2017 month-on-month.
The CPI rose (8-20%) annually due to increases in cereal prices.
Karan rains persisted in the Northwest regions, while Hagaa showers were confined in the coastal regions of Shebelle’s, Juba’s and parts of Bay. Northeastern regions also recieved moderate to heavy rainfall during the first two dekads of September whereas Central regions remained largely dry. Field reports indicate localized rainfall in Bakool, Gedo and Hiran.
This bulletin provides summary of 10 days (Dekadal) observed rainfall in Somalia
The intervention is part of the €50 million RE-INTEG Programme and promotes durable solutions for 26,600 people displacement affected community members in South West State of Somalia, including those affected by the drought.
Bossaso, 17 October 2017 - Canab Mumin Farax fled Mogadishu 16 years ago at the height of the civil war that was triggered by the collapse of the Siad Barre regime. Today she lives with her family in a temporary settlement camp in the Puntland city of Bossaso.
Deyr rains perform poorly in early October in southern and central Somalia
The Deyr (October to December) season is delayed over southern and central Somalia, with rainfall totals less than 80 percent of average across many areas. In southeastern Ethiopia, rainfall has been average to slightly above average, but concentrated within 1-2 days of rainfall.
The humanitarian situation in Somalia continues to be precarious despite a slight reduction of the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance – from 6.7 million to 6.2 million. The recent FAO-managed FSNAU assessments show that the threat of localized famine is as relevant today as it was in the first months of the crisis. Malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily among displaced populations.
Moisture deficits in the Greater Horn of Africa could indicate delayed onset of seasonal rains
Africa Weather Hazards
Poorly-distributed rainfall during August and early September has delayed crop development over parts of southern Burkina Faso and northern Ghana. Below-average rain is forecast next week, which further reduces the chance for recovery.
6th October, 2017: Cash programming has become a significant part of the current drought response in Somalia. Conditional and unconditional cash grants or vouchers, that are either restricted or unrestricted, are being used by a large variety of partners for food or multi-purpose transfers to affected people. In the month of May 2017 alone, more than USD 48 million was channelled through cash programming reaching more than 3 million people.
Sustained humanitarian assistance is critical in averting famine, as forecasts point to a below- average Deyr (October- December) rainy season that will further worsen the food security situation
WFP requires USD 239 million in order to continue providing relief assistance and lifesaving nutrition services to the most vulnerable people in drought affected areas for the next six months (October 2017-March 2018)
FACTS & FIGURES
3.1 million people experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity
1.26 million acutely malnourished children in 2017 916 000 people internally displaced due to drought & conflict in 2017
Over 875 000 Somali refugees in neighbouring countries (sources: FEWS NET, FSNAU, UNHCR,
EU humanitarian funding: €119 million in 2017
UNHCR in 2017 – by the numbers
As of September 2017, UNHCR’s budget is at an historic high of $7.763 billion, which is currently 46% funded
This growth is concurrent with the unabated levels of global displacement, with 67.7 million people of concern to UNHCR worldwide.
The funding gap is widening, now standing at 54%. Based on indications received from donors and analysis of funding trends, UNHCR estimates the gap may reduce to 47% by year’s end.
Severe drought and food insecurity continues across the country with around 6.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance according to monitoring agencies.
Projected outcomes of Deyr rainfall and warmer temperatures could increase displacements and vulnerability of displaced persons.
Working with Partners
As part of the UN integrated mission to Somalia, UNHCR maintains close collaboration with UN agencies, national and international NGOs.
The three days cumulated rainfall forecast is pointing (Map 1) towards light to moderate rains in central and southern regions of the country as well as the Ethiopian highlands and this is expected to increase in quantity and space as the week progresses, given the one week forecast (Map 2).
The western parts of Somaliland and southern parts of Somalia including Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle will remain dry during the forecast period.
River levels in the middle reach of Shabelle are currently high with a high risk of flooding in Jowhar and the environs.
This briefing has been been put together by a significant number of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the leadership of Bond’s Humanitarian and Conflict Policy groups. These NGOs are either actively operational in these contexts or working to raise awareness in the UK of the challenges faced by people experiencing humanitarian disasters, conflict and upheaval.