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
Below-average Deyr harvest remains likely, despite heavy rainfall in early November
Following unprecedented food assistance needs in 2017, little improvement is anticipated during the coming year.
Following heavy rainfall in early November, little to no rainfall reported in mid-November
NEEDS & KEY FIGURES
• Food security in Somalia deteriorated between August and October due to ongoing conflict and drought conditions
• USAID partners in Kenya remain prepared to respond to civil unrest following the country’s repeat election in October
• Nearly 40 percent of the approximately 578,000 IDPs in Ethiopia’s Oromiya Region lack adequate shelter
CLUSTER SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
SO1: Contribute to the protection of newly displaced people and those affected by natural hazards. (NFIs, ESKs)
SO2: Improve the living conditions of the protracted internally displaced persons (Transitional shelters, NFIs)
SO3: Facilitate access to durable solutions for IDPs that are willing to locally integrate or return (Permanent shelters)
This week there were only 313 new arrivals through the Baidoa checkpoints, the fewest number ever recorded by MTT. All of the new entries cited either insecurity (68%) or lack of food (32%) as their reasons for entry.
IOM’s DTM (Displacement Tracking Matrix) was launched in Yemen in April, 2015 in an effort to better inform the humanitarian community about the location and needs of the displaced populations in Yemen. By the end of 2016, as part of DTM activities, IOM began implementing Flow Monitoring (FM) assessments in order to monitor the human mobility of other country nationals in Yemen. The objective of this report is to present the findings of the FM assessments with the aim to better inform the humanitarian community and those responding in the region.
MOGADISHU, 27 November 2017 - The Government of Japan has provided generous funding in an Emergency Grant Aid, to support UNICEF’s ongoing lifesaving work for women and children hit by the devastating drought in Somalia. The US$3 million grant will fund essential health, sanitation and hygiene and nutrition services for some of the worst affected communities.
Aerial bombardment and ground fighting in Somalia's Middle and Lower Shabelle regions this month have forced over 10,000 people to flee for their lives. "We're seeing a spike in families fleeing fighting that are arriving in overcrowded camps in Mogadishu. The camps are already overfilled with drought -stricken people, barely surviving in flimsy shelters," said the Norwegian Refugee Council's (NRC) Country Director in Somalia, Victor Moses.
In March 2017 the Food Security Information Network (FSIN)1 sounded the alarm globally to call the attention to a looming famine putting the lives of more than twenty million people at risk across four conflict and drought affected countries: Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Northern Nigeria, reaching into the countries around the Lake Chad Basin. Despite consolidated efforts by humanitarian actors to avert famine, the situation in these countries is, according to FAO, still only one step below famine.
Somalia is coping with the imminent threat of famine. An estimated 6.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and malnutrition rates are rising. Some 388,000 children aged under five are acutely malnourished.
With limited resources for basic services, the government has to prioritize its health care in urban areas, relying on the Red Crescent and other charitable organizations to respond to the health needs in rural areas. According to the World Health Organization, 5.5 million people currently lack access to basic health care services.