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)
Information from the most recent Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) states that:
• 6.2 million people (half the Somalia population) face acute food insecurity, of which 3.1 million people will face Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4).
130,000 total displacements in month
46% related to conflict or insecurity
Normal to below normal rains expected in most parts of Somalia during the Deyr 2017 season
The Deyr rains are usually shorter and less in quantity than the Gu rains. However, they are beneficial in supporting agricultural activities and boosting 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.
Droughts in Somalia. Water rationing in Rome. Flooding in Jakarta. It doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that there is a growing global water crisis. Each August, water experts, industry innovators, and researchers gather in Stockholm for World Water Week to tackle the planet's most pressing water issues.
• Since January 2017, UNICEF and partners have provided 145,988 children with life-saving therapeutic treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The number of admissions for 2017 has exceeded the total admissions in 2016 by 18 per cent. Banadir, Bakool, Bay, Lower Shabelle, Lower Juba and Gedo regions represent 67 per cent of the 2017 admission caseload.
Girls’ education and climate change are currently two of the most topical global issues in the development arena. Due to a myriad of limiting factors, more girls around the world are falling through the cracks in terms of their educational access, retention, and learning. At the same time, many countries and regions are facing more frequent and more intense climate-related extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts.
Humanitarian situation: Severe drought conditions are expected to deepen until the end of 2017 with 6.7 million people still in need of protection and humanitarian assistance – of which 4 million (60%) are children.
Fighting the drought in Sanaag
ACTED operations in Badhan, Sanaag Region, began on 14th December 2016 after a severe drought hit the region.
In response to the drought, ACTED provided water through water trucking to six villages in Badhan District, benefiting 1,500 households with each household receiving 45 liters of water per day.
ACTED office in Kismayo, the capital city of Jubbaland, opened in 2013 to support people displaced in the county who were seeking refuge in the outskirts of Kismayo.
Ongoing conflicts continue to give rise to serious protection challenges in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Conflicts in all four countries have created humanitarian crises of monumental proportions. They have triggered wide scale displacement, civilian casualties, and severely eroded coping mechanisms of the civilian population as well as threatened the lives of more than 20 million people.
Mogadishu - The United Nations Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, visited Somalia and held a series of meetings with the country’s leadership to show solidarity with the government and people of Somalia, as well as to reiterate the United Nations’ support to the new government and discuss ways to address the country’s challenges such as the recent drought and security.