• Food security needs nearly double five-year average.
• Late Deyr rainfall falls short, risk of fifth poor rains.
• Number of newly displaced people decline in October.
• Plans underway to kick start measles vaccination campaign.
• Additional funding required to support humanitarian assistance.
Food Security Outlook
Food security needs nearly double five-year average
Massively scaled up humanitarian assistance since the beginning of the year has helped avert famine in Somalia. However, the country continues to face drought conditions spanning over four consecutive poor rainy seasons that severely aggravated the humanitarian crisis. Humanitarian needs continue to rise due to limited rain, displacement and lack of access to basic services in a context of ongoing conflict in large portions of the country. The prolonged drought threatens the recovery of normal livelihoods, and predictions indicate a likelihood of further deterioration in food security through May 2018.
According to the latest FAOmanaged Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEW NET), Food Security Outlook, food security needs are nearly double the five-year average. An estimated 2,444,000 people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 866,000 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Overall, humanitarian needs remain high with an estimated 6.2 million people in need of assistance. Malnutrition rates are surging and have reached emergency levels in some locations, especially among internally displaced people. An estimated 388,000 children are acutely malnourished and in need of critical nutrition support. They include over 87,000 severely malnourished children. Projections indicate that the critical levels of acute food insecurity could deteriorate sharply and in the absence of continued scaled-up assistance, the risk of famine (IPC Phase 5) remains possible.
Well below-average agricultural production due to widespread food insecurity has been reported and pastoralists have suffered significant livestock losses. The combined effect has led to reduced household access to food and income and populations face major food consumption gaps. Extreme levels of acute food insecurity already persist in many regions and in the absence of humanitarian assistance, it is expected that many pastoralists in worst-affected areas could be forced to sell their remaining livestock to purchase cereals, resulting in higher levels of pastoral destitution. Farmers would have minimal stocks or income and face very high staple food prices.
Sustained humanitarian response ongoing
Over three million people are being reached monthly with life-saving assistance and livelihood support, but the food security situation remains tenuous. Humanitarian partners are committed to building on achievements from 2017 and continuing the highly targeted famine prevention efforts in 2018. Priority areas include regions where the population in Integrated Phase Classification 3 and 4 is above 40 per cent such as Sanaag and Sool in the north; and parts of Galmudug, Hirshablle and South West States. IDP settlements in urban areas such as Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Garowe, and Baidoa are also prioritized.
Humanitarians continue to scale up response across the country. Some 229,530 children were supported with education interventions in October, including 47,893 children supported with safe drinking water and 177,244 others with teaching and learning materials. About 22 million animals (benefiting about 600,000 households) were treated against Endo-Ecto parasites, wounds, mastitis, infectious bacterial diseases and other diseases across the country. About 11 million animals (benefiting about 275,000 households) have been vaccinated out of the 15 million animals targeted.
Despite the massive increase in humanitarian response, the prolonged drought is aggravating the crisis and needs continue to grow. Urgent and more sustainable mid- to longer-term investment in reducing risk and vulnerability is required. Humanitarian partners are closely engaged in the development of the Drought Impact Needs Assessment (DINA) and the Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF). Ensuring that the current and future droughts do not lead to famine is a collective outcome for humanitarian and development partners alike. Extensive resilience-oriented activities and approaches have so far largely been focused at household and community level.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.