Food Security & Nutrition Quarterly Brief - Outcome of Jilaal Dry Season (Jan – Mar)

Situation Report
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The food security situation in Somalia remains as classified during the post Deyr 2010/11 assessment (Jan – Jun 2011) with an estimated 2.4 million people in crisis. However, the effects of the ongoing drought, deteriorating purchasing power, rampant conflict and limited humanitarian space continue to aggravate the situation in most parts of the country. The Jilaal dry season has been particularly harsh, considering the prevalence of dry conditions for almost 9 months, as short rainy season failed in 2010 due to La-Nina effect. The outcome of the dry season is evident in severe water crisis with extremely high prices of water, depleted pasture, deteriorated livestock condition increased cases of livestock deaths, drought-related displacement and increased destitution, in central regions. In addition, the rising trend in cereal prices triggered by shortfall of Deyr cereal production sustained in the first quarter of 2011 affecting both urban and poor populations. Although off-season maize harvest was collected in Juba regions in March 2011, the supply was not sufficient to stabilize high maize prices. Current Gu planting activities are below average due to the high costs of cultivation and uncertainty of the Gu season performance. The recent rapid nutrition assessments in Juba regions indicate significant deterioration of nutrition situation in agropastoral and pastoral livelihoods, while slight improvement is observed in Juba riverine mostly attributable to off-season crop production and health interventions.