Partners respond to drought
Food security assessment reveals dire situation
Finding durable solutions for IDPs remain urgent.
Drought in Puntland, Somaliland
Parts of Puntland and Somaliland continue to experience severe drought conditions which have affected hundreds of thousands of people. These conditions are as a result of failed two consecutive rainy seasons especially in the western part of Somaliland. Bari and Nugaal in Puntland and Awdal, Sanaag, Sool and Woqooyi Galbeed in Somaliland are the most affected areas.
The situation is expected to worsen in the coming months owing to the depletion of available water resources in affected areas, according to the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM). The next rainy season is expected to start in April.
Authorities in Somaliland and Puntland declared drought and have issued appeals for assistance to an estimated 385,000 people. Funding is needed urgently, as the intensifying drought in Puntland and Somaliland may see many people relapse into crisis. In hard hit areas such as Awdal, Global Acute Malnutrition rates have doubled to 18 per cent. The risk of disease and death related to malnutrition remains high in areas with poor health conditions. Nearly 74,750 and 23,000 children under age 5 in Somaliland and Puntland respectively are acutely malnourished, according to the Nutrition Cluster. The worst affected areas are Bari and Nugaal in Puntland and Awdal, Togdheer, Sool, Sanaag and Woqooyi Galbeed regions in Somaliland.
The depletion of water resources and pasture have triggered livestock migration and increased competition among pastoralists. This is particularly so in southern parts of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions (in Northwest Agro-pastoral livelihood zone) and in parts of Bari, Nugaal, Sanaag and Sool regions. In general, pasture conditions are very poor throughout northern Somalia with the exception of southern parts of Togdheer and Sool regions (Guban pastoral areas) that recorded relatively good rains towards the end of the previous Dyer season, according to SWALIM. The majority of the people in these areas depend on livestock.
A large number of people and their livestock have already left the worst drought-affected areas for places such as the Hawd and Guban Pastoral Livelihood Zones along the coast of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions. These areas have relatively better pasture and water. Those who stayed behind, in many cases, are forced to stay because they lack the cash to move their animals and are in serious need of assistance.
Partners respond to drought-affected people
Humanitarian partners are providing critical life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable. However, response is hampered by lack of resources to avert further deterioration of the situation.
In Awdal in Somaliland, partners are providing cash to the most affected families. In Puntland, partners have reached an estimated 360,000 people with water trucking in the most affected districts and villages. Four boreholes have been rehabilitated in the drought-affected areas in the region, while rehabilitation of additional boreholes is ongoing in both Puntland and Somaliland. Health partners are also supporting health facilities including Outpatient Therapeutic and Stabilization Centres in Somaliland and Puntland to ensure access to primary health care services and the treatment of severely malnourished children. Additionally, some 17 integrated health and nutrition mobile teams have been deployed in Somaliland and six others in Puntland.
Food security partners are providing support to 60,000 vulnerable families including providing in-kind food assistance in areas where markets are not functioning in Somaliland. Nutrition support to prevent and treat malnutrition among pregnant women, lactating mothers and young children in Puntland is also ongoing. Nutrition programmes targeting about 87,000 malnourished children, pregnant and lactating mothers are ongoing in the affected areas in Bari, Nugal, Sanaag and Sool regions. Food security partners have provided meals to some 36,000 school going children in the affected areas.
An estimated 30,000 people have also been reached with cash transfers and cash-forwork activities. WASH partners have rehabilitated five berkeds and five shallow wells to benefit an estimated 54,000 people in Bari region. Boreholes have also been rehabilitated in Bari, Karkaar, Mudug, Sanaag and Sool regions benefiting some 102,000 people.
Timely funding is needed if humanitarian partners are to effectively address the needs of the most vulnerable. To date, the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia, has received US$9.6 million or 1 per cent of the $885 million requested. A Concept Note has also been developed and submitted to the Central Emergency Response Fund seeking additional resources to respond to the drought in Puntland and Somaliland.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.