Somalia: Drought and Displacement (5 May 2017)
Over 2.9 million people in Somalia face crisis or emergency level acute food insecurity and need emergency food aid, as a result of below average to failed rains in many areas in 2016 that reduced crop production and harmed livestock. In the current April-June rainy season little to no rainfall occurred across much of Somalia in April, but rain has begun and is forecasted in May. Lack of potable water has accelerated an acute watery diarrhea/cholera outbreak with an estimated 32,000 cases reported since the beginning of the year. 1.4 million children are projected to need treatment for acute malnutrition in 2017, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). FEWS NET expects 2.9 million people will remain in crisis and emergency levels of acute food insecurity through at least June 2017. In March 2017, 1.75 million people received international food assistance, according to the UN Oce for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aairs (OCHA).
An estimated 1.1 million IDPs currently live in Somalia, and at least 548,000 additional people have been displaced since November 2016 due to the drought. Most people displaced by drought left rural parts of Bay, Lower Shabelle, and Sool and settled in urban areas such as Mogadishu and Baidoa. Displacement numbers continue to rise as more people leave their homes and displacement monitoring increases. IOM and other UN agencies estimate that the number of IDPs, a highly vulnerable group in Somalia, will rise to 3 million by June if the April-June rains are below average or fail entirely. Additionally, since January 2016, about 56,000 former Somali refugees have returned from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp to Somalia through UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation program and have settled in Gedo, Bay, Lower Jubba, and Banaadir.