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 & 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)
Maps & Infographics
Most read (last 30 days)
- Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia deeply concerned about large-scale destruction of IDP settlements on the outskirts of Mogadishu
- Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, December 2017
- Global Early Warning – Early Action Report on Food Security and Agriculture: January - March 2018
- One million children in Puntland and 4.2 million nationwide to be vaccinated against measles
- Somalia: US$1.6 billion urgently needed to save and protect 5.4 million lives from unprecedented drought
A variety of natural hazards—including cyclical drought, floods, and environmental degradation—are endemic to the East and Central Africa (ECA) region, where conflict, rapid population growth, and limited government response capacity have compounded humanitarian needs over the last decade. Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, USAID’s Office of U.S.
By Corrie Butler, IFRC
Driving through the rural landscapes of Somaliland, the views are breathtaking – towering blue mountains cutting the glaring sky over dry, thorn-bushed desert. Small dome-like temporary houses, known as ‘aqals’, dot the arid terrain.
These belong to nomads who have survived in these harsh conditions for generations, but for the first time, they are facing an uncertain future.
"Needs have gone through the roof for the whole of the humanitarian system, and donors really can't keep up with these increased needs."
By Nita Bhalla
NAIROBI, Jan 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Cuts in food rations for 1.5 million refugees in east Africa, due to funding shortages, could increase school dropouts, crime and malnutrition, a United Nations official said on Wednesday.
Mogadishu, 17 January 2018 — The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia, which calls for $1.6 billion to protect the lives of 5.4 million Somalis, was launched today by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq.
In his remarks, De Clercq said: “Working together with the Somali authorities and with historical levels of support from the international community, I am proud that we averted a possible famine last year.
The unprecedented drought spanning over four consecutive poor rainy seasons has severely aggravated the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. Humanitarian needs have increased drastically due to limited rain, large-scale displacement, lack of access to basic services and, at its root, ongoing conflict
As at end December 2017, UN-coordinated appeals and refugee response plans within the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) required US$24.7 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of 105.1 million crisis-affected people in 38 countries. Together the appeals were funded at $13.8 billion, or 54% of requirements. Funding for the appeals in 2017 fell 46% short of requirements, with $10.9 billion outstanding.
Operating environment was marked with small-scale attacks, political tensions between the State of Puntland and ‘Somaliland’ and forced evictions.
Drought, insecurity and conflicts, remain key drivers of displacement and lack of comprehensive land tenure framework remains one of the key drivers for forced evictions.
According to monitoring agencies drought will continue in 2018 and can lead to further increased vulnerability of persons of concern.
A whole-of-society approach – a new improved way of UNHCR response
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a global norm, unanimously adopted by heads of state and government at the 2005 UN World Summit, aimed at preventing and halting Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes Against Humanity. R2P stipulates that:
» Every State has the Responsibility to Protect its populations from the four mass atrocity crimes (Pillar I).
» The wider international community has the responsibility to encourage and assist individual States in meeting that responsibility (Pillar II).
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 (SOFI) has revealed that global hunger is on the rise again after declining for more than two decades. Global hunger rose from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million people in 2016.
The rise in man-made, protracted emergencies means millions are at risk of starving around the globe this year
It’s a difficult new year for the humanitarian system and those reliant on it: a near-record number of people are in need and yet a yawning funding gap will limit what assistance can be provided.
Read more on IRIN.
The humanitarian situation in Somalia has continued to deteriorate due to the ongoing impacts of drought and conflict. An estimated 6.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 3.1 million who urgently require sustained, life-saving services and protection.3 Despite the provision of large-scale assistance in 2017, the risk of famine persists.
FACTS & FIGURES
3.3 million people are experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity
1.2 million acutely malnourished children expected in 2018
1 in 7 children dies before age 5
2.1 million internally displaced
Over 870 000 Somali refugees in neighbouring countries (sources: FEWS NET, FSNAU, UNHCR, UNICEF)
EU humanitarian funding: €119 million in 2017
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR JULY 2018
In Somalia, 6.2 million people still remain severely food insecure while the humanitarian context in the country continues to deteriorate. Drought conditions spanning over four consecutive poor rainy seasons have severely intensified the humanitarian crisis.
- A total of 90 new cases including 1 death of AWD were reported in week 1 compared to 53 cases in week 52 in two Region.
- In Hiraan, new AWD/Cholera cases were reported in Beletweyne while in Banadir new AWD/Cholera cases were reported in Daynile district.
- A cumulative total of 90 cases and 1 death have been reported in 8 districts of 2 regions of South central since January 2018.
The Deyr rains (October- December) were below average, impacting negatively on crop production and pasture conditions across the country. Food security needs are nearly double the five-year average. More than two million people, including over one million in 2017, are displaced and constitute one-third of the 6.2 million people in need of assistance. Life-saving assistance alongside livelihood support is required to address the humanitarian needs.
This week there were 374 new arrivals and only 21 exits at the Baidoa checkpoints. This represents the fourth week in a row that the number of exits has remained below 100. In general, since midNovember all movements in and out Baidoa IDP sites have remained relatively low compared with previous months.
All of the new entries cited either insecurity (83%), lack of food (15%) or health (2%) as their reasons for entry.
Main achievements during the month of December
Number of returnees1 1,596 Somalis returned to Somalia
Core relief items 510 CRI kits to 314 returnee households (1,055 persons)
Reinstallation grants 1,267 refugee returnees provided with reinstallation grants
Shelters 50 shelters and 33 latrines constructed
Community-based projects 1,976 beneficiaries of community-based projects
Updates on achievements
UNCHR will continue investing in housing, education and livelihoods
Heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Cyclone Ava causes flooding in Madagascar
Africa Weather Hazards
Since November, rainfall has been belowaverage in South Africa.
The early season abnormal dryness has expanded into several parts of southern and western Mozambique, Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana, and southern Zambia, where rainfall is forecast to be low during the middle of January.