Ethiopia + 1 more

Monthly Food Security Report for Somalia Feb 2003

Originally published


**FSAU DEYR HARVEST ASSESSMENT : FSAU is carrying out the Deyr field assessment between 29 January and 10 February 2003. The findings will be shared with key partners to reach a consensus. The FSAU Field Team Manager will also produce a Deyr Crop Focus at the end of February/beginning of March. Please contact FSAU Field Team Manager : for more details on the Deyr Assessment.

**URBAN BASELNE ASSESSMENT OF HARGESIA : FSAU / FEWS-NET will be carrying out a household economy baseline survey in urban Hargeisa between 1st and 30th March (with prior planning and training). A limited number of places are available to include field staff from partner agencies who are involved in urban food security interventions and who have some knowledge/experience of the Household Economy Approach. For more details contact Sidow of FEWS ( or Lesley Adams of FSAU (

**HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY APPROACH DEBREIFING IN NAIROBI: Following FSAU Hargeisa HEA training in December/ January the HEA training debriefing will now take place in Nairobi on March 20 at FSAU. (Not Hargeisa as reported last month) The reason for the change is to enable as many decision-makers from international agencies as possible to attend. FSAU and UNCU will be happy to facilitate the involvement of other agencies and government representatives who are based in Somaliland. If you would like to attend please contact or

**FAO WORKSHOP : An FAO workshop has been held looking at a multi-sectoral approach to reducing malnutrition and food insecurity in Gedo Region. The workshop was held in Mandera between 3 - 5 February 2003


ETHIOPIAN DROUGHT AND MIGRATORY MOVEMENTS TO NW SOMALIA: The migration of households from Ethiopia to Awdal appears to have ended. However, with an estimated 2,000-3,000 additional households in the Awdal area, having left the drought stricken Shinile region of Ethiopia, the impact on Awdal's inhabitants and resources-and the situation of the migrants, needs to be carefully monitored until the commencement of the Gu rains. For an indepth report.

HIRAN : The good Deyr season has resulted in a crop that is likely to reverse the poor food security situation that was predicted after the very low crop production in the 2002 Gu season. The area under production is above normal and yields are expected to be good Livestock condition has also improved. As a result of the good Deyr, the FSAU Nutrition Surveillance Project reports that the high levels of acute malnutrition related to food security appear to be decreasing. However, the longer term food security issues (poverty, low income levels, difficulties accessing good production) remain, particularly amongst the 'poor riverine' groups of the region.

GEDO : Gedo region has been food insecure for several consecutive years due to lack of sufficient rainfall. However, as a result of good Deyr rains, the area is now experiencing a period of temporary recovery as it enters the harsh, dry, Jilaal season. The region is currently moving from a period of acute food insecurity to a more chronic state of food insecurity that existed prior to the recent crisis so it is important that underlying factors which detrimentally affect livelihoods in the longer term are closely monitored -particularly if the Gu rains, beginning in March or April are delayed or fail In northern Gedo, insecurity prevented planting during October/ November 2002 in the agro-pastoral and riverine areas close to Luuq and Belet Hawa and a poor crop is expected. It is important to recognise that overall crop production in the region contributes less than 15 per cent to household food needs because two thirds of the population are estimated to be pastoralists. The other third of the population (agro-pastoral and riverine groups) rely on crops for an estimated 60-65 per cent of their household incomes.

ADDUN : The Jilaal season is being felt by the poorest households in parts of the Hawd and Addun pastoral areas of central Somalia (particularly around Jariban) and is a cause for some concern. This is a consequence of previous poor rainy seasons (particularly Gu 2002), which reduced their animals' production with consequent income and food losses. Around 20-30 per cent of households in the area are affected; at present they are coping by increasing the amount of labour they do for others, engaging in small self-employment opportunities, decreasing their number of meals and switching expenditure to basic food items.


The nomadic population makes up to sixty per cent of the total Somali population. The onset of the long dry season-Jilaal (January-March) undoubtedly represents the most difficult time of year for this group. Water and pasture is a greater distance from homesteads, milk production is lower and household/water costs higher. During this period, households and herds usually separate due to the fact that camels, cattle, and shoats have different grazing habits and watering needs-and different household members cater for different roles. The father and elder sons will usually take the hardiest and most mobile animals to distant ranges in search of pasture (horowyn). On these journeys, the herdsman may eat only milk and wild foods for several months. The mother and children usually stay with the remaining 'milk herd' or nugal (shoats and pregnant or lactating camels and cattle) near their home wells.

Pastoral movements have never been very extensive in Somalia, as mobility patterns are restricted to some extent by traditionally demarcated ranges known as degaans. While rainfall is the main determining factor, horowyn migrations are complex matters that depend upon many factors, including clan relations and grazing rights, key rangeland resources, disease risks and the location and importance of market centres and routes. Movements of nugul across degaans are usually observed only in dry years or in very dry inland areas. Nugul movements could therefore represent a useful indicator of critical conditions. Any disruption to normal migration, border closures, drought, clan tensions will contribute to the pressures on traditional pastoralist livelihoods. As an example, out migration away from Awdal at the end of March beginning of April will be vital, so this movement needs to be closely monitored.

Highlights from the FSAU 'Nutrition Update'

Assessments and Surveys

The January ' Nutrition Update' provided the results of nutrition assessments in Awdal, Somaliland and in the Gardo, Dangarayo and Jariban areas of Puntland. These will be followed in February by a summary of the recent UNICEF nutrition surveys in Galgodob and Jariban in Puntland whose preliminary results do not reflect major differences from the rates usually seen in these areas. An interagency nutrition survey, led by UNICEF, is currently underway in Hargeisa urban areas. In February, the ' Nutrition Update' will also include a review of ongoing interventions in Gedo Region and in Belet Weyne District in Hiran Region where humanitarian organisation have faced significant challenges in the implementation of nutrition related interventions. During January and February, 500 copies of the FSAU/UNICEF ' Nutrition ' calendar are being distributed throughout Somalia. The calendar carries some key messages related to health, food security and care issues that affect nutrition. FSAU will conduct a training workshop for partners on nutrition and nutrition related issues between 15th and 17th February 2003 in Hargeisa. The workshop will focus on the collection, analysis and interpretation of information related to nutrition.

For copies of nutrition survey reports and further information related to nutrition, see the FSAU monthly publication 'Nutrition Update' or contact

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