Somalia

Somalia: Drought Situation Report No.5 (As of 20 March 2022)

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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 20 February to 20 March 2022. The next report will be issued on 20 April 2022 or earlier.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The drought emergency in Somalia has deteriorated to a point where the country is facing the risk of famine. About 4.5 million people are affected, of whom nearly 700,000 people have been displaced from their homes in search of water, food, pasture and livelihoods.

• The WASH Cluster reports that about 3.5 million people are in acute need of water assistance, including 1.4 million internally displaced people. Water trucking activities are ongoing but are insufficient to meet increasing needs.

• Schools are closing as children are displaced with their families. At least 420,000 (45 per cent girls) out of 1.4 million children whose education has been disrupted are at risk of dropping out of school because of the drought.

• At least 1.8 million people were reached with various forms of assistance in February, but the escalating emergency calls for sustained scaling up of response and flexibility in reprogramming.

• Health partners are implementing measles vaccination campaigns targeting at least 38,300 children under age 5 in 24 drought-affected districts.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The drought emergency in Somalia has deteriorated to a point where the country is facing the risk of famine. Humanitarian agencies, authorities and local communities are ramping up responses and reprogramming activities to address the impact of the drought, but the levels of need are rapidly rising, surpassing available capacities and resources. At least 1.8 million people were reached with humanitarian assistance in February. The escalating emergency calls for sustained scaling up of response and flexibility in reprogramming, especially given that weather forecasts are predicting an average to belowaverage rainy season starting in April. More than 90 per cent of the country has remained generally dry. In February, water and staple food prices rose by 140-160 per cent above the five-year average in some locations, rivaling the prices recorded during the 2010/2011 and 2016/2017 droughts. Current levels of food and water assistance are quickly being outpaced by the rapid increase in the size of the food insecure population, widening of household food consumption gaps, loss of livelihood assets, and worsening acute malnutrition levels, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU).An estimated 4.5 million people have been affected by the drought emergency. Those displaced from their homes in search of food, water, pasture, livelihoods and shelter have nearly tripled from 245,000 people in December 2021, to 697,000 people as of 20 March. The Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster reports that about 3.5 million people are in acute need of water assistance, including 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Water trucking activities are ongoing but are insufficient to meet increasing needs amidst dried up rivers and rising prices of commercially supplied water to levels that are unaffordable to most drought-affected people. The lack of access to water for animals and people is a major driver of displacement, and use of unclean and unsafe water is causing increased disease outbreaks, especially acute watery diarrhoea (AWD). Further, Health Cluster partners have reported increased numbers of suspected cases of measles, the majority being people arriving to displacement sites from hard-to-reach areas. Over 2,100 AWD/cholera and 1,400 measles cases have been confirmed since January. Health and Nutrition Cluster partners report increased admissions for severe malnutrition treatment at stabilization centres. Local partners reported two deaths due to drought-related causes in Amana IDP site, Dhuusamarreeb district, between 22 February and 5 March. In Jubaland, local authorities and partners have reported several deaths mostly of children, due to drought-related complications such as measles and AWD.
Urgent treatment and nutrition support is required for approximately 1.4 million children under age 5 who will likely face acute malnutrition between January and December 2022, including 329,500 who are likely to be severely malnourished.
Education and Protection Cluster partners are concerned that numerous schools have closed, as children are displaced with their families by the drought and cannot access school meals. At least 420,000 (45 per cent girls) out of 1.4 million children whose education has been disrupted are at risk of dropping out of school, according to partners. The livestock sector, which is central to the economic and cultural life of the Somali people and provides food and income to over 60 per cent of the population, has taken devastating a hit. Local authorities in Bakool region have reported the deaths of about 10,000 livestock.

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