Somalia: Drought Response - Situation Report No. 6 (as of 30 April 2017)

Situation Report
Originally published



  • The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate and the possibility of famine in 2017 persists.

  • Rainfall intensified in many parts of the country over the past week and flash floods were reported in Bari, Nugaal, Mudug and Bay regions. The rains are expected to continue in most parts of the country in the next seven days, but with less magnitude.

  • NGOs and UN agencies continue to massively scale up response and are reaching millions of people with life-saving food, water, nutritional and health services as well as shelter, non-food items, protection services and livelihood support throughout the country in coordination with Federal and local authorities. Further scale-up over the coming weeks is critical across all clusters.

  • Farmers continue to receive seeds to plant during Gu – the longest agricultural season. In the past week, more than 5,500 households (30,000 people) redeemed seed vouchers being provided by food security partners. In total, around 230,000 people are receiving the seed vouchers – of these, already 80 per cent have collected their seeds – along with cash vouchers for 3 months (the duration of a planting season) to ensure access to food until their crops are harvested in June.

  • Cluster Coordinators visited the Baidoa Drought Operations Coordination Center (DOCC) on 25 April as part of efforts to strengthen scale-up in Baidoa as high influx of displaced persons continues.

  • Unprecedented levels of funding for humanitarian action have been contributed for Somalia this year. Donors have moved quickly to generously support scale-up of response and over US$600 million has been made available or pledged for humanitarian response since January.

Situation Overview

The humanitarian situation continues to worsen and the projected number of children who are or will be acutely malnourished is now estimated by UNICEF to be 1.4 million, including over 275,000 who have or will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in 2017.
The drought has also forced some 40,000 children to stop attending classes, as the most vulnerable families enlist children to search for water, or as they migrate in search of food and water.

There has been a slow start of the Gu (April-June) rains in parts of the country. According to the FAO-managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM), rainfall activities intensified in many parts of the country over the last three days and flash floods were reported in some places including Bari, Nugaal, Mudug and Bay regions. The rains are expected to continue in most parts of the country in the next seven days but with less magnitude.

The Ethiopian highlands are expected to continue receiving rains during the same period and this is likely to lead to increased water levels in the Juba and Shabelle Rivers.

A slight increase in the number of new Acute Watery Diarrhea/cholera cases and deaths was recorded – 3,356 cases and 60 deaths were reported in week 16 compared to 2,984 cases and 34 deaths in week 15.
The Case Fatality Rate has been brought down from 2.0 per cent the previous week to 1.9 per cent as of 23 April, but is still far above the 1 per cent emergency threshold. Overall, nearly 32,000 cases of AWD/Cholera cases and 618 related deaths have been recorded since the start of 2017.
AWD/cholera case fatality rates are higher in areas that are not accessible compared to accessible areas as shown in this chart. Most of the inaccessible areas are in South West state (Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle), as well as Middle Juba and Gedo regions of Jubbaland.

Cases of measles continue to rise across Somalia. A total of 5,689 cases have been reported as of 23 April, 700 more than the previous week. Of the reported cases, 51 per cent are children under age 5. Suspected cases of measles were reported from all regions in 2017 – but Banadir (1,419) and Togdheer (1,075) accounted for almost 44 per cent of the cases. Measles, a viral respiratory infection that spreads through air and contact with infected mucus and saliva, thrives in congested, unsanitary environments, such as displacement settlements, which have mushroomed across Somalia due to the drought.

Massive drought-related displacement continues across Somalia, with most of the displaced people moving from rural to urban areas or other rural areas. By the end of April, nearly 620,000 drought-related displacements were recorded since November 2016 by the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN). Most of the drought-triggered displacements in 2017 have arrived in Baidoa (Bay region), Mogadishu (Banadir), Gaalkacyo (Mudug), Belet Weyne (Hiraan) and Buuhoodle (Togdheer). In Baidoa, one of the hardest-hit areas by the drought, a comprehensive assessment by humanitarian partners has shown that 85 new displacement settlements have been set up in 2017. As at 27 April, more than 169,000 displaced persons live in and around Baidoa, out of which over 136, 000 are newly displaced due to the drought in 2017. The assessment revealed that food, water, and shelter are the priority concerns. Access to aid (55 per cent) was the main reason for displacement, followed by work opportunities and the absence of conflict.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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