Somalia: 2019 Drought Response Plan



Two years after the prolonged 2016/2017 drought destroyed livelihoods and displaced almost one million Somalis - but also triggered a massive and successful scale up in humanitarian response to avert famine - severe climatic conditions, combined with other persistent drivers of humanitarian crisis, armed conflict, protracted and continued displacement and a spike in evictions of internally displaced persons are again pushing Somalia towards a major humanitarian emergency.

The combined impact of the initial, and potentially complete, failure of the 2019 Gu’ rains (April-June), which followed a poor 2018 Deyr season (October-December), and abnormally hot, dry conditions during the 2019 Jilaal season (January-March) has caused widespread crop failure and accelerated decline in livestock productivity, rapidly pushing communities in the worst-affected areas into food insecurity crisis phase, or worse. The signs of crisis, such as irregular pastoral migration coupled with deteriorating livestock body conditions and reduction in milk production, increased displacement due to drought and increases in drought-related disease, are already widely observed.

Out of 5.4 million expected to be acutely food insecure by July, 2.2 million will be in severe acute food insecurity conditions (IPC 3 and above), a 40 per cent increase from January this year.

With rains performing worse than the originally predicted average to near average expectation for May and June, when the latest food insecurity outcome projections were calculated, an even more pronounced impact on humanitarian needs can be expected, with further increase in the number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) to be anticipated. 1 Looking ahead, even if the Gu’ rains were to attain normal levels for the remainder of the season, they will be insufficient to make up for the lost productive period.

As a result of decades of climatic shocks and conflicts, over 2.6 million people are internally displaced as the country enters the current crisis, mainly in urban areas. Despite efforts to achieve durable solutions, the capacities of host communities are overstretched, and the situation could worsen if additional people displaced by drought move to urban areas. Minority clans and marginalized communities were the groups most severely and disproportionately affected by previous droughts and is highly likely that they will also bear the brunt of the 2019 drought, which will need to be factored into the humanitarian response.

Additional and front-loaded financial resources are urgently required to launch an immediate response. By the third week of May, the 2019 HRP is only 19 per cent funded. The total resources provided this year ($254 million) are less than 40 per cent of those available at the same time in 2017 and 2018. Assistance has reduced, including in critical WASH, health, nutrition and food security interventions in several drought-affected areas and urban centres receiving internally displaced persons (IDPs).


Following detailed analysis of the number of people in need, those people impacted by the drought and the most effective response possible, each cluster has targeted their actions as follows:

4.5 million people in IPC 2, 3 and 4 will benefit from food security interventions, through immediate food assistance, protection and restoration of livelihood-related food and income sources and resilience against shocks. The Food Security Cluster has identified ‘unique beneficiaries’ and has three targets: (i) access to food and safety nets (2.2 million people in IPC 3-4); (ii) emergency livelihood support (2.45 million people in IPC 2-4); and disaster resilience (1.6 million people in IPC 2). The beneficiaries targeted by FSC often receive “multiple support” and the three targets should not be aggregated.

The nutrition cluster will target 1,552,282 children and women. An estimated 541,330 children under five will benefit from treatment of moderate acute malnutrition while 129,450 children affected by life threatening severe acute malnutrition will receive therapeutic treatment. Additionally, 706,500 children and PLW will benefit from prevention programmes, which includes supplementation with vitamins and minerals, plus 175,000 PLW who will be treated for acute malnutrition.

Access to water is a crucial component of the response as it will not only save lives, but also contribute to the sustainability of health, nutrition and food security outcomes. In total, 2.5 million people will receive emergency WASH assistance. Out of these, 2.5 million people will be supported with emergency and recovery water services and 1.5 million will be reached with hygiene and sanitation assistance. Among those beneficiaries, 49 per cent will be IDPs or people living in crowded locations and 51 percent will be living in host communities and rural areas. To estimate the number of people in need, the WASH Cluster applied a weighting system based on a WASH vulnerability index to target those people most in need of emergency WASH services, as well as laying over and prioritizing the most drought-affected districts.

The Health cluster will target 2.7 million drought-affected people; who will receive emergency, essential and reproductive health care services to prevent avoidable morbidity and mortality. Services will prioritize: IPC 3 & 4 populations; IDPs; severely malnourished women and children with comorbidities; under-immunized and those with vaccine-preventable illnesses; as well as communities experiencing disease outbreak.

Most IDPs are currently residing in crowded informal settlements, with insufficient access to basic services and under poor shelter conditions that raise protection and health, and privacy and dignity concerns. IDPs live in difficult circumstances and are in urgent need of multiple basic services. Up to 514,200 drought-affected IDPs in IPC 3&4 will be assisted with non-food items and emergency shelter kits. 1 million displaced people in sites at IPC 3 and IPC 4 and also newly drought-displaced people who join sites will receive support to improve living conditions and access to services.

The drought conditions continue to undermine access to education for school-going age children. Some 648,000 school going children who are food insecure (IPC 2-4) will be targeted with education services to ensure they are retained in the locations of their current schools or provided with access to education opportunities in schools

where their families have moved due to drought. The school children will be provided access to safe drinking water, emergency school feeding, hygiene promotion to prevent the AWD/Cholera and provision of teaching and learning materials. This strategy will mitigate and prevent children from dropping out from school as a result of the drought and keep them safe and protected during the crisis.

As part of this plan, 794,000 drought-affected people will be targeted with protection-oriented assistance, enhanced community-based protection and psychosocial support, case management and referral especially of gender-based violence (GBV) survivors and child victims of violations.
Some 68,092 people, including refugees, asylum seekers and host communities will receive multisectorial assistance, and protection-focussed multi-purpose cash grants, health assistance, livelihood provisioning, and water for domestic use.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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