OVERVIEW AND AREAS OF CONCERN
The Gu rainy season Somalia started with mixed results. According to FEWSNET (24 April 2014) most of the southern regions received moderately well distributed, light to moderate rains with pockets of heavy precipitation. As a result, the vegetation conditions have improved in most of the south and parts of the cowpea belt in Galgadud Region.
In contrast, there has been a lack of rainfall in most of the northeast (Puntland), central and few parts of northwest (Somaliland) with dry conditions predicted over the coming weeks (FSNAU 24 April 2014).
The vegetation conditions are significantly below average in most of the North, the central regions, coastal areas of the Jubas and Shabelles, and parts of Hiraan and Bakool Regions (FEWSNET). Re-planting may be needed in rain fed agropastoral areas of Middle Shabelle and Hiran (FSNAU). Conflict and insecurity have increased in the Shabelles during a critical season (FEWSNET). Further delays in rains Puntland and central may cause abnormal pastoral migration affecting milk access of poor households (FSNAU). Improved precipitation in the next two months is critical in the northeast where access to water for both human and livestock is currently very poor (FSNAU & SWALIM).
In areas affected by the recent military offensive, a range of impacts are observed. Food Security Cluster (FSC) initial assessments in Xudur and Wajid showed that while there was no humanitarian crisis in late March, market disruptions were significant and would contribute to food insecurity if prolonged.
Restrictions on trade and movement in areas affected by the offensive may have negative effects on crop production, agricultural labor opportunities, food prices and humanitarian assistance (FSNAU & SWALIM). Currently, the FSC has no partner that has plans to work in Wajid or Xudur casting major concerns on the response capacity in the districts. In Lower Shabelle and Hiran, the intensity of planting has been affected by the offensive as well (FSNAU; FEWSNET).