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
- 2018 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan
- One million children in Puntland and 4.2 million nationwide to be vaccinated against measles
Little to no rainfall recorded throughout Somalia in early December
Little to no rainfall was reported across Somalia between December 1 and 10, according to both satellite-derived rainfall estimates by RFE (Figure 1) and ground information. The lack of rainfall was climatologically typical for many areas of northern and central Somalia, but represented below-average rainfall for this time period in southern Somalia (Figure 2). Overall, the persistent dryness in early December had a negative impact on crop development and rangeland conditions across the country.
On visit to southern port city of Kismayo, Grandi praises progress and pledges continued investment and support.
By Melissa Fleming
KISMAYO – On a visit to the recovering southern port city of Kismayo, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, pledged to continue investing in housing, education and livelihoods for returning refugees, IDPs and the local population.
- There were 498 new arrivals, the most recorded entry in the last five weeks and 38 exits, lowest recorded of exit since Mid-October at the Baidoa checkpoints this week. The key driving factors for displacement into the IDP sites as usual were insecurity and lack of food, and while those leaving cited management of their farms.
Extreme food insecurity to persist in East Africa, Yemen through at least mid-2018
- 11.4 million children are at risk of of malnutrition, water shortages, lack of health services, child protection violations and disruption to their education
- 758,000 children under-five are at risk of death and irreversible damage without access to critical nutrition
- 7.6 million children are in need of water
- At least 3.4 million children are at risk of dropping out of school
The Deyr/short rains season is coming to an end in the Horn of Africa, with little to no rainfall in many areas since mid-November, and little to no rainfall forecast for the next two weeks. Following a significantly delayed start of season and below average seasonal rainfall, below-average crop yields are expected in rainfed areas of southern Somalia and eastern Kenya.
December 15, 2017 - Etobicoke, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
Canada is concerned by the extremely fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia and supports international efforts to meet the basic needs of the millions of Somalis facing hunger, disease, displacement, physical insecurity and loss of livelihoods. Somalia continues to face the ongoing effects of nearly three decades of conflict and insecurity as well as the impact of chronic drought and other natural disasters.
Reports from PRMN partners indicate that some 32,000 individuals have been newly internally displaced countrywide during the month of November 2017 (12,000 primarily droughtrelated, 16,000 for conflict or insecurity and 3,000 related to riverine flooding). Cumulative drought-related displacements monitored by PRMN year to date have reached 874,000, while conflict-related displacements during 2017 have reached approximately 188,000. Year to date internal displacements monitored by PRMN now total approximately 1.1 million.
20th Nov, 2017: Food security needs are nearly double the five-year average in Somalia, with an estimated 2,444,000 people currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 866,000 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Widespread food insecurity is driven by three consecutive poor seasons that led to well below-average production and large-scale livestock losses, which have reduced household access to food and income (...)
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR JUNE 2018
UNHCR equips refugees who wish to return to Somalia with the skills to help them start over. However, more needs to be done.
By UNHCR staff in Kismayo | 14 December 2017
Fadumo* furrows her brow as she concentrates on folding the piece of cloth spread out before her.
She soaks it in a mixture of salt, hot water and dye for a few hours and, after rinsing it, reveals a beautifully patterned cloth that she hangs out to dry. This is another of her intricately designed tie-and-dye fabrics that have made her renowned in Kismayo.
European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 12 December 2017
The European Commission has announced today 13 new actions worth €174.4 million under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to support refugees and host communities in the Horn of Africa region.
In 2017, 226,137 children with life threatening severe acute malnutrition have been admitted for treatment in UNICEF supported programs. 15,851 children were admitted in stabilization centres.
Over 52 percent of the total admissions reported in districts hosting IDP communities, a trend that has continued through 2017.
Hargeisa, 10 December 2017. Somaliland authorities are carrying out a “Drought Impact Needs Assessment” (DINA), based on a globally recognized methodology, that is identifying long term solutions to recurrent cycles of drought, which are to be delivered in parallel to life saving humanitarian relief. The DINA is being led by the Somaliland Government and supported by the World Bank, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).
In South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, drought and conflict left almost 23 million people in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment by March 2017, when the DEC launched its appeal. While relief assistance in 2017 has been providing a life-line to people and communities in these four countries, preventing a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian crisis, persistent drought and ongoing fighting continue to affect the lives of millions. A sustained, and in places, increased relief effort is needed into 2018 to protect livelihoods and prevent loss of life.
Mogadishu, Somalia, 11 December 2017 – A health conference on public health sector development was launched today by the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Health with support from The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo).
Mogadishu, 11 December 2017 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, via the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, is making a contribution of 3 million Euros towards the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s new Country Programme for Somalia over the period 2017-2020.
In partnership with UNFPA, this generous contribution will support the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts in reducing maternal deaths, unmet need for birth spacing, and ending violence and harmful practices against women and girls.
Despite recent rainfall, dryness remains in parts of South Africa and Madagascar
Africa Weather Hazards
Seasonal rainfall during early November has helped alleviate early season moisture deficits across Somalia and eastern Kenya. However, deficits in southern Somalia and eastern Kenya remain.
The forecast below-average rain next week is likely strengthen moisture deficits.