Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, June 2014 | Issued on 24 July 2014

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 24 Jul 2014


  • The food security situation has worsened as early warnings highlight drought conditions in parts of Somalia.

  • Alarming malnutrition rates above threshold levels have been recorded among displaced communities in Mogadishu.

  • UN Central Emergency Response Fund allocates over US$20 million in emergency funding to Somalia.

- # of people in humanitarian emergency and crisis 857,000
- # of people in stress 2m
- # of acutely 203,000 malnourished children under age 5 Source: (January-June 2014 projection)
- # of internally displaced people 1.1m
- # of Somali refugees in the Horn of Africa and Yemen 1m Source: UNHCR Consolidated Appeal

933 million requested for 2014 (US$)
29% (268 million) (reported as of 22 July 2014)

Food crisis set to deteriorate warn analysts

Alert highlights looming drought in Somalia, worsening already acute crisis

The food security situation is expected to deteriorate in the months ahead due to reduced crop production resulting from poor seasonal Gu rains (April to June), a surge in prices of basic commod- ities and reduced livestock prod- uction, according to an alert releas- ed in early July by the Food Sec- urity and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), managed by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). This projection comes on the back of multiple early warnings over the past months by the humanitarian community. On 21 July, the Federal Government of Somalia described the humanitar- ian situation “as a precursor to the situation in 2011 in its intensity” and established a Ministerial Emerg- ency Response Committee to lead the development of a drought and emergency response plan.

According to the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), the rains started a month late and ended early this year, by the last week in May. Rainfall was recorded at less than half of normal levels during the seasonal rains. As a result, drought conditions are being observed in southern, central and north-eastern parts of Somalia. The negative trend is not expected to reverse until the next rains, which are due in October. The worst affected areas where the food security situation is expected to deteriorate in the coming months include parts of Bakool, Gedo, Hiraan, Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba regions, according to FSNAU. Bari and Nugaal regions of north eastern Somalia are also facing drought due to poor Gu rains.

In addition to poor Gu rainfall, continued conflict, the restricted flow of commercial goods in areas affected by recent military operations and increasing malnutrition mainly among internally displaced people are all factors, which could tip the crisis in Somalia back into an emergency.
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Climate outlook for the next three months until September

Although the period between July and September is regarded as a dry season, significant rainfall usually occurs during this period along the southern coast and parts of the north western regions. However, the forecast is that most parts of Somalia will not receive these normal rains, a factor which will compound the worsening food security situation, according to FAO. However, the southern coastal regions are expected to continue to receive light rains, which are normal in these areas during this period. This may improve availability of water and curb the current water shortages in these regions.

Alarming malnutrition rates observed in capital

Acute malnutrition and mortality levels surpass emergency thresholds. Alarming rates of malnutrition have been observed among displaced communities in Mogadishu, according to FSNAU data. Nutrition assessments in May and June show above emergency levels of malnutrition seven urban towns (Dhobley, Doolow, Dhuusamarreeb, Garowe, Gaalkacyo and Kismayo) with the highest deterioration reported in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu.

Global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels among the displaced communities in Mogadishu were reported at an alarming 18.9 per cent (the emergency threshold is 15 per cent). Thesevere acute malnutrition (SAM) rates increased to 5.5 per cent (the emergency threshold is 4.5 per cent). Of the 14 sampled districts in Mogadishu, the highest number of malnutrition cases was recorded in displacement settlements in Wadajir, Hodan district. The nutrition situation is equally alarming in Doolow, where GAM rates are 18.9 per cent and SAM is 4.4 per cent.

Disease, conflict and resource gaps contribute to malnutrition

A number of factors have reportedly caused the deteriorating mal- nutrition situation in Mogadishu: acute watery diarrhoea and meas- les outbreaks in April and May; a high influx of displaced people due to recent conflicts in Lower Shab- elle and other parts of southern and central Somalia; poor water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in displacement settlements; and limited food and nutrition interventions in Banadir Region.

Aid organizations have been unable to meet the needs of over 350,000 estimated displaced people in Mogadishu due to funding shortages, and a volatile security situation, which has at times restricted aid delivery into the settlements. A rise in food prices and limited livelihood opportunities have also contributed to the worsening food security situation. Host communities in the capital have also been affected, with an increase in GAM from 8.1 per cent in May/June 2013 to 10.1 per cent in May/June this year. The humanitarian community is mobilizing resources to address the serious situation, but the significant shortfall in funding for humanitarian activities has undermined the capacity to respond.

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