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
Increased, unseasonal rainfall forecast in some drought-affected areas
Vegetation conditions remain very poor in much of East Africa, following very poor rainfall between October and January in many areas, particularly in Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and northeastern Tanzania. Vegetations have continued to deteriorate into February, particularly in the Horn, as the dry season has continued.
Somalia has once again been hit by a severe drought, which could quickly develop into a famine. 'A large proportion of the population is affected by the drought, and over six million people are in need of food aid. Norway is now increasing its support for humanitarian efforts in the country by NOK 64 million, in an effort to prevent the situation from developing into a new, large-scale famine,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
MOGADISHU – As a devastating drought grips Somalia, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are warning that only a massive and immediate scale-up of humanitarian assistance can help the country avoid falling into another catastrophe.
In 2011, Somalia suffered a famine that killed 260,000 people. The famine was declared in July, but most people had already died by May
By Tom Miles
GENEVA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - More than 20 million people - greater than the population of Romania or Florida - risk dying from starvation within six months in four separate famines, U.N. World Food Programme chief economist Arif Husain says.
New movements caused by drought in South & Central Somalia Based on ongoing reports from PRMN partners in the field, at least 30,790 individuals (approximately 5,132 households (HH)) have been reported as displaced due to the ongoing drought in the period 1-22 January 2017.
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR AUGUST 2017
Nairobi (ICRC) – At a time of increasing concerns about severe drought and potential famine in Somalia, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) are currently distributing food to 140,000 drought-affected people. In the coming days 100,000 more people will receive cash and other essential items.
While droughts are cyclical in Somalia, this year's conditions are exacerbated by failed rains last year. Drought conditions are now devastating communities dependent on livestock and agriculture.
Bile Abdi’s grandson died from a lack of water, and the larger family saw more than 1,100 of their goats and sheep perish, the devastating outcome of the drought crippling families across Somalia.
“I am 75 years old. I have not heard of or seen such a severe drought,” said Abdi.
While dry spells are not new in Somalia, a failed rainy season last year has exacerbated the conditions on the ground, and now fears of a period of severe hunger are rippling through the region, including in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.
The drought situation in Somalia is rapidly deteriorating. Over 6.2 million people, more than half of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance. Some 3 million people now need urgent life-saving assistance, compared to 1.1 million in September 2016. Without a massive and urgent scale up of humanitarian assistance, famine could soon be a reality in the worst drought-affected areas.
A worsening food security situation, due to a prolonged drought and ongoing conflict in Somalia, is threatening to unravel the fragile progress achieved since the famine of 2011. More than ever, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is counting on its partnership with the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Operations to assist in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable Somalis.
Khadija Maalliim Ali is 25, divorced, jobless and singlehandedly raising six children. She lives with her sister, also a single mother with 4 children.
FAO and IGAD partnered together to conduct a rapid assessment from 12 to 18 January 2017, visiting 32 locations in cross-border areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia to understand drought impact on livelihoods, food security and nutrition in order to inform appropriate and coordinated responses in affected areas.
Soaring cost of basic staples is an extra challenge for pastoralists as livestock prices fall
14 February 2017, Rome - Drought throughout East Africa has sharply curbed harvests and pushed the prices of cereals and other staple foods to unusually high levels, posing a heavy burden to households and special risks for pastoralists in the region.
Nairobi, 14 February 2017. Without funding to support millions of people in the Horn of Africa, the world will witness another severe food crisis and potentially a famine in parts of Somalia, warns CARE International. “We are observing the same warning signs that preceded the famine in Somalia six years ago”, says Raheel Nazir Chaudhary, CARE’s Country Director in Somalia. Consecutive droughts over the last two years, exacerbated by one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded, have completely depleted people’s food supplies and killed their livestock.
In May 2015, World Vision, with the support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC), piloted a new model of partnership for the delivery of health and nutrition services in southern Somalia. This pilot saw World Vision modify its existing Local Non-Governmental Organisation (LNGO) partnering approach to work with the nascent Ministry of Health for the Southwest State (MoH-SWS).
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Prolonged and worsening drought conditions across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya means that more than 11 million people are facing severe hunger and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling for an immediate and expansive response in order to prevent widespread drought conditions from triggering a humanitarian catastrophe.
Kismaayo, 12 February 2017 - The visiting United Nations Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, urged the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Federal Government of Somalia to uphold the observance of human rights by its forces during upcoming joint military operations against the militant group Al-Shabaab.