FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 2/01 - Somalia

The output of the recently harvested secondary "deyr" season cereal crop, normally accounting for some 25-30 percent of annual cereal production, is estimated at 96 000 tonnes, significantly above the post-war average of 78 000 tonnes. Furthermore, the main "gu" season harvest was an aboveaverage 224 000 tonnes. The aggregate 2000 cereal production is thus estimated at about 320 000 tonnes, about 31 percent above the previous year.
The overall food supply situation in parts of southern Somalia has improved with the better "gu" and "deyr" harvests. However, recent nutrition surveys indicate continuing high malnutrition rates, reflecting slow household recovery from the succession of droughts and long-term effects of years of insecurity. Moreover, recent injections of new currency into the market with the attendant depreciation of the Somali Shilling have caused a sharp increase in prices of food items and essential goods.

Elsewhere, in north-western Somalia (Somaliland) and northeastern Somalia (Puntland), pasture and livestock conditions remain stable. However, the ban of livestock imports from eastern Africa by countries along the Arabian Peninsula due to a Rift Valley fever has caused substantial loss of income and is threatening the livelihoods of a large number of pastoral households.

Reflecting improved food supply, the estimated number of people in need of food assistance declined from 750 000 in 2000 to 500 000 this year. A UN interagency appeal was launched on 12 March for US $130 million, to support livelihoods and assist the country's recovery.