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
The current crop season in the central and southern part of the region normally starts with onset of March to May rainfall season. However, majority of cropping regions have experienced extended dry conditions with delayed rainfall. This has disrupted planting activities in the countries where rainfall has commenced and delayed planting in those countries yet to receive rainfall. The Tropical Cyclone “Idai” experienced in early march in Mozambique area redirected precipitation away from the Eastern Africa region resulting persisting dry conditions.
By JAMES ANYANZWA
By FRED OLUOCH
East African countries are facing a food supply crisis, which is bound to increase the cost of living and push up governments’ budget deficits this year.
Much of the region has gone through a dry spell after the delay of the long rains (March-May), with poor harvests forecast. While the region’s average cost of living remained relatively unchanged during the three months to March, inadequate food supply and rising oil prices may lead to higher inflation in the coming months.
Poor rainfall since late 2018 to increase assistance needs and slow 2016/17 drought recovery
Project code: OSRO/SOM/713/WBK
Donor: The World Bank
Contribution: USD 30 507 109
Target areas: Somalia
Objective: To address the immediate needs of the drought-affected people of Somalia, and support resilient recovery through the provision of livelihood opportunities and the restoration of agricultural and pastoral production.
Northeast and central regions of Somalia experienced significantly drier and higher than normal temperatures in March. Water prices are at twice the five-year average (FSNAU) with humanitarian partners increasing efforts in emergency water trucking to support affected communities.
UNICEF reached 30,200 IDP beneficiaries with temporary safe water through water trucking in Baidoa town in Bay region.
L’Aperçu de la situation humanitaire mondiale (GHO), publié le 4 décembre 2018 annonçait des besoins en financement de 21,9 milliards de dollars pour 21 Plans de réponse humanitaire (HRP) et le Plan régional de réponse pour les réfugiés et les migrants du Venezuela (RMRP). À la fin du mois de février, les besoins s’élevaient à 22,42 milliards de dollars et, au 31mars, le montant demandé avait atteint 25,11 milliards de dollars.
Most parts of Somalia will remain dry in the next three days, apart from few areas in Somaliland and a few pockets in Bay and Bakool regions in the south where light rains are expected (Map 1). The rainfall forecast for the coming seven days (Map 2) indicates the possibility of more rains towards the end of the week in Somaliland, most parts of southern regions and the Ethiopian highlands. Other areas including Puntland, and central regions will remain dry or receive minimal rains during the coming week.
*Nearly three decades of instability in Somalia have resulted in widespread insecurity, poverty and recurrent food and nutrition crises. Somalia is also prone to natural hazards, such as droughts and floods, which exacerbate food insecurity. *
Horn of Africa
And, turning to the Horn of Africa, around 23.4 million people are currently food insecure in the Greater Horn — including 10.7 million people across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda’s Karamoja region — that’s according to the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group, which is a regional platform co-chaired by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Most parts of Somalia will remain dry in the next three days, apart from few areas in Somaliland where light rains are expected (Map 1). The rainfall forecast for the next seven days (Map 2) indicates the possibility of more rains towards the end of the week in Somaliland, parts of the southern regions bordering Ethiopia as well as the Ethiopian highlands. Other areas including Puntland, central regions, Middle Juba, Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle regions will remain dry or receive minimal rains during the coming week.
2018 IN REVIEW
This Annual Report presents achievements of the SHF during the 2018 calendar year.
However, because grant allocation, project implementation and reporting processes often take place over multiple years as Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) are designed to support ongoing and evolving humanitarian responses, the achievement of CBPFs are reported in two distinct ways:
SHANGHAI – The World Food Programme has shipped thousands of tons of rice donated by China to Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to help address their food security challenges.
This is part of China’s food assistance this year which also covers The Republic of Congo and Lesotho. The five countries are facing a range of issues that can impact food security, including armed conflict, climate-related disasters and sluggish economies. The assistance will mainly support displaced people and refugees, many of whom are women and children.
5,023 mt of food assistance distributed
USD 7.13 m cash-based transfers made
USD 98 m six months (March-August 2019) net funding requirements
1.48 m people assisted in February 2019
4.9 million food insecure people
1.2 million children projected to be malnourished in 2019
2.6 million internally displaced people
IN FOCUS: Abnormal dryness leads to drought-like conditions
Overview (as of 31st March 2019)
Scaling-up on emergency water supply services are needed to support an incresing number of communities affected by water scarcity as mild to moderate drought conditions (Northern Somalia) or persistnent abnormal dryness conditions (Southern Somalia) are imminent. In total, 2 million individuals are now facing a risk of lacking of access to safe water based on the revised WASH Cluster Contingency Plan.
In March, 32,000 new displacements were monitored by the UNHCR-led Protection and Returns Monitoring Network (PRMN), an increase of 7,000 people compared to previous month. In 2018, an estimated 883,000 were internally displaced due to conflicts, floods and drought.
Overall, there are an estimated 2.6 million internally displaced people in Somalia. Since 2014, over 125,000 people have voluntarily returned to Somalia. Somali spontaneous refugee returnees continue to return to Somalia through different border locations.
33,576 refugees & asylum-seekers
The Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) report on food security and agriculture is produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It provides a quarterly forward-looking analysis of major disaster risks to food security and agriculture, specifically highlighting:
• potential new emergencies resulting from imminent disaster threats
• new developments in countries already affected by protracted crises which are likely to cause a further deterioration of food insecurity
12 February 2019, ENTEBBE, Uganda: The 51st Greater Horn Of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 51) for March, April and May organized by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the Uganda National Meteorological Agency (UNMA) and partners on “Preparedness actions to climate related risks for safe and resilient communities” closed today in Entebbe, Uganda.