Monthly Food Security Report for Somalia May 2003


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

FSAU Crop Establishment fieldwork will begin in Southern Somalia on 25 May. Results will be compiled and discussed in the field before the findings are disseminated in the July Monthly Report. FSAU non crop seasonal assessment will be conducted in June, looking at pastoral areas in the North East and North West as well as looking at other areas of Somalia that have been affected by food security 'shocks' such as flooding. For more information please contact :

Mapping of the Pastoral Food Economy Zones for North Somalia is being finalized following field work involving FSAU field monitors (24 April-5 May) based in the north who undertook the rapid baseline data collection. For more information please contact :

FEWS NET has produced a Vulnerability Update on the March 2003-Clan Conflict which has threatened Food Security in Buaale, Middle Juba Region, Somalia. For the report, please contact :

UNCU/OCHA and IDP'S in Kismayo UNCU/OCHA are investigating IDP'S and other vulnerable groups in Kismayo and FSAU has seconded two field monitors to support this work.

Hargeisa Urban Baseline Assessment. For a copy of this report please contact

Consultants working on an FSAU data dictionary have finished their research and are now preparing the systems analysis report with associated database diagrams. For more information please contact

Food Aid Distribution

In April CARE distributed a total of 1,772 MT in Gedo region to 35,440 beneficiaries. 726 MT was distributed in Belet Hawa, 315 MT was distributed in Dolow and 731MT was distributed in Luuq district. All these were free food distributions and consisted mainly of sorghum. There is still approximately 300 MT of food relief in the pipeline for Gedo region, distribution is expected to take place in May.

WFP distributed 860 MT during April. 197 MT of food relief was distributed in W/Galbeed (Hargeisa) and 3 MT in Bari. The total for rehabilitation and food for work was 308 MT; 130 MT was distributed in the north, 146 MT in the North West and 32 MT in the North East. 350 MT was social support, 180 MT was distributed in the south, 60 MT in the North west and 108 MT in the north East.



As a result of heavy rain in the Ethiopian highlands and Somalia, localized and destructive flooding is occurring in the Juba and Shabelle river basins, endangering the food security of people living there. In Middle Shabelle, there has already been localized flooding in Jowhar District and in Lower Shabelle, the villages of Qoryoley, Kurtuwarey and Merca have been affected. In Juba Valley, Buaale has also experienced flooding while Jilib and Jammame districts are still at risk. It should be noted that in the Jillal season, farmers often break the river banks to flood farmlands which is likely to increase the current flood risk and that comprehensive maintenance of river banks and the de-silting of riverbeds would go some way to reduce the impact of small scale localised and destructive floods. For more details contact and


The Gu rains have commenced throughout Somalia, except in some pastoral pockets in northern and central Somalia, where no rain has fallen yet.See Vulnerability map and Regional Highlights for more details. If the Gu rains are delayed, most areas will recover. However, the vulnerable groups in these areas, whose assets have been reduced, such that further losses are likely to cause destitution, will be hit hard by the higher than normal increase in livestock mortality. Increased livestock mortality often occurs when rains come after a long dry period and is particularly serious for poorer groups.


The Sool Plateau in the north of Somalia continues to be an area of concern following a serious delay in the onset of Gu rains.Insufficient water had already caused migration amongst the better off groups living on the high plateau, leaving behind people who had inadequate resources to move out of the area. Those who remained have had to pay high prices to purchase water while they struggle to find markets for their weakened animals. See page 3 and Regional Summary for Sanaag and Toghdeer.


Most of the remaining Shinnile pastoralists returned to Ethiopia in April (where good rains are reported in Shinnile zone). According to WFP Ethiopia, the physical situation of the livestock returning to Ethiopia is very poor. Heavy rainfall occurred in the Awdal highlands and lighter rain fell in the Guban, along the coast.

Highlights from the FSAU 'Nutrition Update'

The FSAU conducted a rapid nutrition assessment in three IDP camps in Kismayo in mid-March. Results suggest a deterioration in the nutritional status of under five children in the camps since the previous rapid assessment in November 2002. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, low uptake of health services despite close proximity and inadequate income opportunities were reported as major concerns amongst the IDP population in Kismayo. A nutrition survey by UNICEF, in collaboration with the FSAU and other partners is now underway in Kismayo and results are expected to provide a better understanding of the population's nutritional status. United Nations Somalia Co-ordination Unit (UNCU) and partners also plan a study of the situation in Kismayo commencing in May.

A nutrition strategy meeting was held in Huddur from March 31st to April 2nd, during which the chronic nature of malnutrition in South and Central Somalia was analysed. Partners continue to explore feasible and sustainable interventions. Meanwhile, family rations will continue to be provided to families with malnourished children in Belet Weyne until a detailed assessment is undertaken to help understand the reasons for the continued increase in admissions of malnourished children to the SFP.

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