Severe drought exacerbated by El Niño conditions has hit parts of Puntland and Somaliland, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Compounding an already challenging humanitarian situation in the area, this has brought the estimated number of people who face acute food insecurity in Somaliland and Puntland to 385,000 people. A further 1.3 million people risk slipping into acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance. This brings the total number of people in need of some form of humanitarian assistance and livelihood support to 1.7 million, or 37 per cent of the 4.6 million people living in Puntland and Somaliland.
The drought conditions follow four successive seasons of below-average rains in parts of Somaliland (spanning two years), and a below-average Deyr rainy season in Puntland (OctoberDecember 2015). According to projections by Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), there is an increased likelihood of nearnormal to below normal Gu rains (AprilJune) in Somaliland and northern parts of Puntland. This is expected to further negatively impact the drought situation and urgent life-saving humanitarian and livelihood support is required for people living in the drought-affected areas.
Currently, the drought is most severely and directly impacting pastoral and agropastoral communities – approximately three-quarters of the population – whose sources of food, income and water are diminishing and increasingly at risk. The below normal rainfall and drought conditions have led to a severe reduction in access to safe water and cereal harvest in Somaliland (87 per cent below the five-year average), largescale abnormal outmigration of livestock (including 60-70 per cent of households from the main inland pastoral areas of Puntland), and sharp increase in debt levels among poor households. The acute water and pasture shortages have caused pastoralists to migrate to areas with better conditions, resulting in increased competition and tension over scarce resources, and an overcrowding of animals that could increase the spread of contagious livestock diseases. Droughtaffected pastoralists from Ethiopia and Djibouti have also sought relief in the few remaining pastures, particularly in Awdal region of Somaliland, where rains were favourable in the last quarter of 2015. The most vulnerable pastoralists stayed behind, unable to afford the high cost of transport.
The most urgent needs include access to water, food, cash relief, emergency livelihood support, nutrition and health services to reduce morbidity and mortality. Education, protection and shelter support is also required to ensure minimum standards of living among vulnerable girls, pregnant and lactating women, boys and men, and prevent an exacerbation of existing vulnerabilities and exposure to protection risks.
The drought comes against a backdrop of a complex and protracted humanitarian crisis with an estimated 4.7 million people, or 38 per cent of Somalis, acutely food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than one million displaced people.
This Call for Aid outlines the main needs, gaps and response plans developed by humanitarian partners to help avert a further deterioration of the situation in drought-affected areas. It covers the six-month period from April to September 2016, and builds on the 2016 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and the Somalia Contingency Plan for El Niño developed in 2015. It outlines the priority activities presented in the HRP for 2016 that relate to drought in Somaliland and Puntland and emerging needs. The consequences if we do not act now are outlined in the final portion of this document and would result in a very different call for aid further into the year should we not deliver now.
Humanitarian partners urgently require US$105 million to provide humanitarian assistance to over one million people in Puntland and Somaliland over the next six months. With $97 million already received against the $885 million requested for the 2016 HRP, this represents 13 per cent of the remaining $788 million required for humanitarian assistance in Somalia in 2016
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.