Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 1 January - 5 February 2019 [EN/SO]

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Over 1.5 million Somalis still face acute food security crisis or worse.

  • 2019 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan launched.

  • Major rivers’ water levels below normal.

  • NADFOR leading humanitarian coordination in Somaliland.

  • Pooled funds produce results in 2018

Over 1.5 million Somalis still face acute food security crisis or worse

Some 903,100 children anticipated to be acutely malnourished

More than 1.5 million people in Somalia are still facing acute food security crisis or worse, as a result of the below-average Deyr rainy season (Oct-Dec), displacement from the 2016/2017 drought and protracted conflict in some parts of the country. In addition, 903,100 children under the age of five are anticipated to be acutely malnourished in 2019. Overall, 4.9 million Somalis are estimated to be food insecure, an increase from 4.6 million people since last September, according to the post-Deyr analysis released on 3 February by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). An estimated 43 per cent of the total facing food insecurity are internally displaced persons, a reduction compared to previous assessments.

Despite recent improvements in the food security situation across the country, these results reveal a slight deterioration, particularly in northern and central pastoral livelihood zones. Many northern and central agropastoral and pastoral livelihoods will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by April, when the Gu rainfall is expected to improve livestock productivity, increase saleable animals and improve agricultural labour opportunities. The forecast average Gu (April-June) rains and mostly favorable market conditions are essential to mitigate more severe deterioration in food security conditions through mid-2019. A more up-to-date Gu forecast is expected by the end of February.

As of January 2019, sustained and large-scale humanitarian assistance has prevented a major deterioration in the food security situation in many areas. Aid agencies have called for early funding to sustain the aid operation as well as scaled-up development interventions, especially in the north of the country where security and access are relatively good, to address the drivers of need.

FSNAU and FEWSNET have warned that in the absence of assistance, the food security situation is expected to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone and to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in central Addun Pastoral, Northern Inland Pastoral, East Golis Pastoral of Sanaag, northwestern Hawd Pastoral, Southern Agropastoral of Hiraan and Bay-Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral livelihood zones. Those facing acute food security Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse urgently need humanitarian assistance through June 2019 to prevent further deterioration. Livelihood support is also required for people categorized as Stressed or worse (IPC Phase 2 or higher).

Surveys by FSNAU and FEWSNET also indicate that the overall nutrition situation in Somalia has improved due to better food security conditions, reduced outbreak of disease, and sustained humanitarian interventions. At the national level, acute malnutrition has remained stable due to relatively low morbidity and sustained nutrition and health-related interventions and support. The median prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) has remained at ‘Serious’ level (10–14.9 per cent) over the past three seasons (12.6 per cent in 2018 Deyr, 14.0 per cent in 2018 Gu and 13.8 per cent in 2017 Deyr). However, high levels of acute malnutrition persist in some areas due to a combination of factors, including food insecurity, high morbidity, low immunization and vitamin-A supplementation, and poor care practices. Urgent treatment and nutrition support is required for children who will likely face acute and severe malnutrition through December 2019. Integrated interventions should be sustained to encourage recovery and prevent deterioration in the nutrition situation.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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