Somalia

Somalia: Drought response and famine prevention - Situation Report No. 8 (As of 30 June 2022)

Attachments

This report is produced by OCHA Somalia in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It provides information on the worsening drought situation in Somalia for the period 1 to 30 June 2022. The next report will be issued on 30 July 2022 or earlier.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Drought conditions have deteriorated in Somalia following an unprecedented fourth consecutive failed rainy season; eight areas - up from six in May- are facing the risk of famine. More than 7 million people are affected, up from 6.1 million in May, and over 805,000 are displaced.

• For the first time since 2017, pockets of catastrophic food insecurity have been confirmed, affecting more than 213,000 people. At least 200 children have died in malnutrition centres since January.

• Humanitarian partners have launched the Drought Response and Famine Prevention Plan (May to December 2022) to facilitate the scaling up of life-saving and life-sustaining assistance and prevent famine.

• Using resources provided by donors so far, partners have reached 3.9 million people with lifesaving assistance since January, but the scale of ongoing assistance and funding remains low, putting at risk critical assistance programmes.

• OCHA, on behalf of partners, launched the Somalia Drought Response and Famine Prevention Dashboard, an interactive platform that contains key data on the ongoing drought emergency such as people affected, displaced, targeted and reached; operational priority areas; humanitarian response and operational partners.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The drought emergency in Somalia has intensified following an unprecedented fourth consecutive failed rainy season. In response, humanitarian partners have launched the Drought Response and Famine Prevention Plan covering May to December 2022 to facilitate the scaling up of life-saving, life-sustaining assistance to prevent famine. The plan involves a five-pronged approach centred around prioritization, coordination, integrated and rapid response, and response monitoring. The Plan requires US$993.3 million to implement and targets 6.4 million people. Since January, 3.9 million people have received lifesaving assistance, however, the scale of ongoing response and funding from the international community is not sufficient to sustain the lives of all those at risk. To ensure the maximization of the limited resources and prevent the worst outcomes, partners are targeting the most vulnerable people. As of June, more than half of Operational Priority Area 1 districts have received assistance.

Area-based coordination structures are active in 38 priority areas. These structures provide localized support in districts where there are weak operational coordination forums/information gaps, often numerous partners and urgent but unmet lifesaving needs. In addition, a rapid response mechanism has been rolled out to provide multi-sectoral emergency response packages to the newly displaced. In 2016/17, a similar change in strategy, coupled with early action, additional funding, increased operational presence and timely scale up of humanitarian assistance, averted a potential famine. In the current crisis, however, late and limited funding is impeding an appropriate scale-up of assistance. The current funding situation (US$435.8 million - 30 per cent - received), is comparable to 2011, when funding was slow to come in until the declaration of famine, with devastating consequences.

As of 30 June, the severe drought has affected more than 7 million people, an increase from 6.1 million in May, with over 805,000 displaced. Eight areas are facing a heightened risk of localized famine if widespread crop and livestock production fail, prices of commodities continue to rise, and humanitarian assistance fails to reach the most vulnerable people. The rapidly increasing humanitarian needs require a massive scale-up as partners transition from drought response to famine prevention.

Hunger is rising following a historical fourth consecutive failed rainy season since 2020, with 7.1 million people – 45 per cent of the population – already acutely food insecure. For the first time since 2017, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) has confirmed pockets of catastrophic food insecurity (Phase 5) affecting more than 213,000 people. At least 200 children have died of undernutrition and disease in stabilization centres across Somalia since January. Disease outbreaks have spiked with over 5,830 suspected cholera cases reported from 24 drought-affected districts since January. Water levels on the Juba and Shabelle rivers have dropped to 30 per cent below the short-term average, leading to grave shortages of water for irrigation and other uses. Migration by pastoralists and their livestock continues to increase as people compete for limited resources, potentially stoking social tensions.

The Famine Early warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) have forecasted that the 2022 deyr (October-December) rainy season will be below average and that food security conditions are unlikely to improve until mid-2023, at the earliest. Immediate action is required to scale-up and sustain humanitarian assistance, at least through the end of 2022, to prevent rising levels of acute food insecurity, mitigate the loss of life, and avert the risk of famine.

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