Monthly Food Security Report for Somalia Jun 2003

Originally published


FSAU acknowledges the contribution of key partners FEWS NET, CARE, WFP, SC-UK, UNCU, UNDP

** The FSAU Gu 2003 Seasonal Workshop and analysis will take place between 16-24 June in Hargeisa. This will assess crop establishment in Southern Somalia and look at the state of the pastoral areas in the Northeast and Northwest and Central Regions. For more information please contact :

** The FSAU Livestock Officer will go to the Northwest for two days in June to investigate reports of an unknown sheep disease. Mahdi Kayad will report back to the July SACB Livestock Working Group with his findings.

Food Aid Distribution

Care did not carry out food relief distributions during May.

WFP Somalia distributed a total of 1,355 MT in Somalia. In the south, 325 MT were distributed in Bakol, 42 MT in Bay, 9 MT in Lower Shabelle, 263 MT in Hiran, 50 MT in Mogadishu. In the Northwest 170MT were distributed. In the Northeast, 245 MT were distributed in Bari region, 14 MT were distributed in Nugal, 16 MT were distributed in Sool, 221 MT were distributed in Mudug. The food distributed was either relief, rehabilitation or social support.

For further information on WFP's activities please contact For information on future CARE operations please contact


Gu 2003 Crop Prospects:

Initial reports from the field suggest a mixed performance in the Gu 2003 season. Gu 2003 cereal production may be slightly below average because of localized lack of rain and flooding especially in Lower/Middle Shabelle and Lower/Middle Juba. The FSAU July Monthly Report will contain more comprehensive details on crop establishment and the Gu seasonal assessment and analysis.

Flood Update:

The FSAU April Monthly Report highlighted localized flooding which had occurred in the downstream stretches of the Juba and Shabelle rivers. The flood risk continued into the second week of May. River levels continued to rise, for example, in Belet-Weyne, (a normal river level would be considered up to 3 metres) but it reached 6.3 metres. By the third week of May, however, the river levels had drastically reduced. With most of the flooded areas now drying out, farmers are replanting their lost crops in recessional areas. The FSAU recommends that interested UN agencies, INGO's, and NGO's assist flood-affected farmers by providing seeds and tools. UNICEF and ICRC have already provided assistance to farmers in Jilib. The impact of the floods on agricultural land in Jowhar, Mahaday and Jalalaqsi district in Middle Shabelle also needs further investigation. In the long term, the flood risk can be reduced by comprehensive river bank maintenance and the de-silting of river beds. Prior to 1991, this was one of the prime responsibilities of Somalia's government.

Sool Plateau Update:

Although rains did fall during May, their intensity and distribution were not uniform and the cumulative number of days that it rained was below 'normal'. Pastoralists who were able to move out of the plateau have limited access to markets due to the long distance from their villages. Middle and poor pastoral groups who remained on the plateau are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain sufficient cash to purchase their daily food requirements, having lost up to 60% of their income. There is virtually no income from milk sales, which used to provide approximately 40% of a household's income and the return on livestock sales, which typically provide an additional 40% of income, has been halved. Berkads have not been replenished sufficiently and water continues to be expensive and difficult to obtain. For additional pastoral areas of concern, see the vulnerability map and the regional highlights in the north. A nutrition survey by FSAU, UNICEF, NPA and SRCS has recently been completed in the Sool Plateau. Data analysis is underway and preliminary results will be shared in the June 2003 nutrition update.

Highlights from the FSAU 'Nutrition Update'

Preliminary results of the Kismayo District nutrition survey undertaken in May 2003 indicate a poor nutritional status of the population. The global acute malnutrition defined as weight for height <-2 zscores or oedema was 12.3% (95% CI 9.6 % - 15.6%) while the severe acute malnutrition defined as weight for height <-3 z-scores or oedema was 1.9% (95% CI 1.1% - 3.0%). Mortality data results further indicate an alert situation that needs close monitoring. The under five mortality rate was 2.2/10000/day while the crude mortality rate was 1.9/10000/day. Poor child care practices, consumption of unsafe water, diarrhoea, ARI and poor sanitation practices are among the factors contributing to malnutrition in Kismayo District.

In March/April 2003 UNICEF/FSAU and MOH Puntland collaboratively carried out repeat nutrition survey in Northern Galkayo town. Results of the survey indicate a global acute malnutrition defined as W/H<-2 z-scores or oedema of 8.3% (95% CI 6.7% - 10.4%), and severe acute malnutrition defined as W/H<-3 z-scores or oedema of 2.3% (95% CI 1.4% - 3.5%). Issues related to poor child feeding practices, inadequate access to good quality health services, sex of household head and ARI were the factors found to be influencing the children's nutritional status. The lack of improvement in the nutritional status of the population is disappointing since the survey results indicate a similar malnutrition rate as that reported in the March 2002 nutrition survey.

A nutrition training workshop for partners in Puntland will be undertaken in Garowe between 17th - 19th June 2003.

For copies of the nutrition survey reports and further information related to nutrition, see copies of the FSAU monthly publication 'Nutrition Update' or contact:

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