Ethiopia + 1 more

Monthly Food Security Report for Somalia Jan 2003

Originally published


14 DECEMBER 2002- 4 JANUARY 2003

The FSAU's Household Economy analysis training for partners was completed after nearly 4 weeks of intensive training in Somaliland. A 6-day theory session for 63 participants was closed by the Honourable Minister for Pastoral Development & Environment, Mohamed Muse Awale. The training team then took more than 30 participants from partner agencies to the field for practical training. The teams covered five field locations. Pastoral areas included the Nugal valley (Sool region), the Golis-Guban pastoral communities of Awdal region and the Hawd of Hargeisa and Togdheer regions. Agropastoral areas included rainfed areas in Gebiley, Boroma, Sheikh, Burcao, Berbera and Odweyne and an irrigated food economy zone in Hargeisa district.

The training was a resounding success with participants having benefited from improved knowledge and skills in vulnerability analysis. Discussions were held at the end with participants and their managers to see how the training will help them in the future. The trainees felt that they were confident that the training had equipped them with skills to identify the different livelihood groups within their areas of work, to select appropriate and reliable key informants, to identify and speak to the different socio-economic groups in the community, to use participatory research tools and improved interview skills to gather information, to quantify household economies (assets, food and income sources, expenditure) and to use these skills to assist in project planning, targeting, and monitoring and evaluating their work. Finally, participants had learned about the realities of a rural livelihood - how people have lived in normal years and how they have been coping with recent shocks such as the livestock ban and successive drought. A further bonus of the training was the understanding and adoption of a common analytical framework among partner agencies. The workshop participants resolved to continue the spirit of collaboration, co-ordination and sharing of information and experiences which this workshop has initiated, and that this role should be played by the key ministries, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture (which is planning to hold regular monthly food security meetings). FSAU plans to hold a meeting in Har-geisa in February or March when the findings of the field work will be presented to stakeholders for review and discussion. Again, it is hoped that the Ministry of Agriculture will play a lead role in this. FSAU is grateful to FEWS NET who provided a technical backstop to trainers during the theoretical part of the training and to FEWS NET, CARE, WFP, EU, DRC, USAID, IRC, SADO, OXFAM, SC-UK, ICRC who provided financial and material assistance. FSAU hopes to replicate this training - on a smaller scale - with agencies working in the South, and would like to hear from interested agencies. Please contact FSAU's Field Operations Support Officer :


FSAU will be holding a workshop at the end of February to assess Deyr Crop Production where they will seek to achieve consensus on their findings amongst implementing agencies and partners working in Somalia. For more information on the Deyr Assessment workshop please contact FSAU Field Team Manager :


ETHIOPIAN DROUGHT AND MIGRATORY MOVEMENTS TO NW SOMALIA: Recent rains are replenishing pasture in the NW of Somalia which is expected improve access to milk but some pastoralists are reported to have lost livestock as a result of increased diseases incidence brought on by the rains. Any further shocks may inhibit recovery which is why the situation in neighbouring Ethiopia requires close monitoring. Some abnormal cross-border migration has been reported (Source: WFP, LCNRDD: 10th Jan. 2003). Reports of families from Ashir district (Ethiopia) moving as family groups with household goods to Awdal are unusual although livestock migration is normal. The FSAU will verify these reports and confirm numbers as more information is received from the field. Food aid is reported to have been distributed in Shinile region. However, those families on the move may have interpreted this as a signal that more pastoralists will be attracted to the area and therefore kin support (Issa) and more favourable pastures in Awdal offer a better longer-term option. The FSAU will continue to monitor the possible impact of abnormal migrations, relief food distributions in Ethiopia, staple prices and livestock health and production as the situation unfolds.

AWDAL: The long awaited hais rains arrived in the coastal and sub coastal belts of the region at the end of December. This brought some relief to pastoralists, whose livelihoods- are often weakened at this difficult time of year-especially if the hais rains are delayed. There are three phases of hais rains and the first and second phase (Kodxin and Dirir) failed. This past long dry spell caused significant livestock deaths - particularly of sheep. The dry spell also affected other animals productivity and marketability. When the third phase (Daadallo) of hais rains arrived in the last week of December, livestock were already weak - because of the dry spell, but livestock condition worsened as the heavy continuous rains fell and the temperature dropped making sheep and goats without shelter - more susceptible to pneumonia. The FSAU Livestock Officer who visited Awdal in December 2002 reports that death of livestock due to the recent heavy rains is likely to be much higher than deaths that were reported as a result of the long dry period. For further FSAU information on Awdal see Page 2. and Page 3.


Deyr 2002/2003 is likely to be exceptional throughout Southern Somalia as rainfall was outstanding in both occurrence and distribution. In the Shabelle and Juba valleys - where most of the crops are rain dependent - good production is expected. Livestock also felt the positive effects of plentiful rainfall. A promising Deyr harvest is likely to compensate for the poor performance in some areas during the Gu 2002 season.

Food Aid Distribution

Somalia's two principal food aid agencies, CARE and World Food Programme continued their operations in December, providing food to targeted beneficiaries through general distribution, food for work and feeding operations. WFP distributed 286 MT of relief food to targeted beneficiaries in NW Somalia. They also carried out Food For Work in Bakol-459 MT, Hiran-35 MT and in the North West-86 MT. In the form of social support-WFP also distributed the following 170 MT in Bakol, 55 MT in Hiran, 9 MT in Lower Shabelle, 49 MT in Mogadishu, 75 MT in the North West and 244 MT in the North East. Meanwhile, CARE distributed 17 MT of lentils and vegetable oil to 871 beneficiaries in Belet Hawa-Gedo region. For further information on CARE's food aid operations, please contact : narayan@care. For further information about WFP's activities, please contact : Lubna.

Highlights from the FSAU 'Nutrition Update'

The January ' Nutrition Update' highlights the recent assessment in Awdal and provides a map highlighting areas where high malnutrition rates reflect the deterioration in food security. The benefits of the recent rains are unlikely to be felt for two to three months. The report also focuses on the situation in Belet Weyne and the difficulties encountered by humanitarian organisations in implementing appropriate interventions. A copy of the FSAU/UNICEF nutrition calendar for Somalia will also be included with the 'Nutrition Update'. Poster sized copies are available on request.

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

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