Somalia: Drought - 2015-2019Ongoing
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)
Food security has improved significantly in many of the areas worstaffected by the 2016/17 drought, as a result of large-scale humanitarian assistance and improvements in seasonal performance. Most areas of the country are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2), though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes exist in some areas and among IDP populations. Between July and September, in the absence of continued humanitarian assistance, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely in riverine livelihood zones and northern and central Somalia. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone. (FEWSNET, 30 Jun 2018)
The record levels of rainfall seen during the April – June Gu rainy season have ushered in hopes of the substantial replenishment of water resources, and the restoration of cropland and livestock numbers across many areas of Somalia. The latest food security outlook by the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) reports that food security will improve significantly in many of the areas worst-affected by the 2016/17 drought, as a result of improvements in seasonal performance supported by large-scale humanitarian assistance. However, the magnitude and intensity of the rains, coupled with the subsequent flooding, has aggravated vulnerabilities. Vulnerable communities, still recovering from the adverse effects of protracted drought, are among those who have been most severely affected by flooding. (OCHA, 05 Jul 2018)
Due to the above-average rains in the first half of 2018 and sustained humanitarian assistance, the number of people facing severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and above) has decreased by 52 per cent from 3.1 million in September 2017 to 1.5 million in September 2018. However, the IPC Phase 2 caseload remained virtually unchanged, with a reduction of only 0.6 per cent. Due to the mid-2018 Gu rainy season, total cereal production exceeded the long-term average (1995-2017) by approximately 17 per cent and is 58 per cent higher than the five-year average (2013-17). Favourable rainfall between April and June 2018 also improved pasture and water availability for livestock and bolstered market conditions in some areas. Notwithstanding the relative improvement in food security outcomes since the end of the 2016/17 drought, similar gains were not observed with respect to malnutrition, which is influenced by several factors, including healthcare, clean water, proper sanitation and good hygiene practices. Malnutrition rates across Somalia remain very high and, in 2019, nearly 1 million children will be acutely malnourished, including more than 177,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. (OCHA, 20 Jan 2019)
The combined impact of the initial, and potentially complete, failure of the 2019 Gu’ rains (April-June), which followed a poor 2018 Deyr season (October-December), and abnormally hot, dry conditions during the 2019 Jilaal season (January-March) has caused widespread crop failure and accelerated decline in livestock productivity, rapidly pushing communities in the worst-affected areas into food insecurity crisis phase, or worse. The signs of crisis, such as irregular pastoral migration coupled with deteriorating livestock body conditions and reduction in milk production, increased displacement due to drought and increases in drought-related disease, are already widely observed. Out of 5.4 million expected to be acutely food insecure by July, 2.2 million will be in severe acute food insecurity conditions (IPC 3 and above), a 40 per cent increase from January this year. (OCHA, 20 May 2019)
Appeals & Response Plans
Most read reports
- Save the Children: Three in four children in Puntland face acute food shortages, warns Save the Children. 23 May 2019
- FEWS NET: East Africa Food Security Alert, May 21, 2019. 22 May 2019
- OCHA: Somalia: $710 million needed to scale up drought response and avert a major crisis. 20 May 2019
- IOM: A Region on the Move - 2018 Mobility Overview in the Horn of Africa and the Arab Peninsula. 20 May 2019
- OCHA: Somalia: 2019 Drought Response Plan. 20 May 2019
Thank you very much. My name is Peter de Clercq and I am the Humanitarian Coordinator here in Somalia.
Thank you very much to the representatives of Somali and international media for joining us today, for this briefing on this latest assessment, and also for a response on questions around the situation in Somalia more broadly.
Also, thanks of course also to our colleagues in FAO, and to the colleagues in the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for this overview of the new food security findings in Somalia.
In Somalia some 855,000 people face acute food insecurity
Situation is likely to worsen during October-December rainy season
Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) Technical release
(Mogadishu, 31 August 2015): The results of the latest Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia, presented today in Mogadishu, indicate that the country’s humanitarian situation remains alarming.
Hargeisa, 29th August, 2015 (WAM) – A Somali official has thanked the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation for extending assistance to the Somali people, who were experiencing a difficult humanitarian situation as a result of a drought.
The Somalia FSC cluster partners have delivered about 866,965 responses in August 2015. About 320,162 beneficiaries were reached through various activities related to improved access to food and safety net (IASN) across Somalia by cluster partners. Similarly about 442,668 and 104,126 beneficiaries were reached in livelihoods assets and livelihoods seasonal input respectively by partners.
Critical malnutrition rates in hard-to-reach areas of southcentral Somalia, including Bulo Burto and Xudur
More than 20,000 people have fled their homes due to military operations
Mid-year review shows some progress towards strategic objectives but more funding is still needed.
For further information, please contact:
Maurizio Giuliano, Public Information Officer a.i., OCHA Somalia, email@example.com, +254-738-999985
Enhanced rains expected in most parts of South and central Somalia during the Deyr 2015 season
The Deyr rains are usually shorter and less in quanƟty than the Gu rains. However, they are beneficial in supporƟng agricultural acƟviƟes and boosƟng water availability for different uses. Generally the season starts in late September and ends in November.
Nevertheless, this varies from place to place across the country with the northern parts receiving the rains much earlier than the southern parts.
High food prices and conflict in South Sudan and Yemen leading to continued Emergency
Abundant rain has continued across a wide portion of West Africa.
Despite a recent increase in rain, seasonal deficits have persisted over parts of the Greater Horn of Africa.
1) Although an increase in rain has been observed over Eastern Africa during the past few weeks, seasonal deficits have persisted in south-central and eastern Sudan, western Eritrea, and northeastern Ethiopia due to the delayed onset and uneven rainfall distribution to the June-September season.
HARGEISA, 20th August, 2015 (WAM) -- The Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation, KZHF, has concluded its project of purchasing relief materials from the Somali local market in Hargesia, which had been implemented under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to provide necessary assistance to the Somali people.
The evolving El Niño, which currently has a probability of occurrence at above 90% and is likely to be the worst in 30 years, will exacerbate the current food and nutrition security situation. Parts of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and Kenya are expected to experience severe flooding while other parts of the region will experience drought conditions.
Somalia - IOM and its partners in Somalia’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster, have distributed hygiene kits to 1,696 households in Doolow, a dusty border town sandwiched between Somalia and Ethiopia. Doolow is a major destination for internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing conflict.
Hargeisa, 17th August, 2015 (WAM) – In view of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the orders of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to provide humanitarian assistance to the Somali people, a delegation from the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KF) is visiting the East African country to assess the needs of the Somali people so as to alleviate their suffering as a result of the drought.