Somalia

Somalia: Drought Situation Report No.7 (As of 20 May 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 April to 20 May 2022. The next report will be issued on 30 June 2022 or earlier.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Some parts of Somalia have received light to moderate rains, but the amounts are insufficient to alleviate the current drought conditions. With no significant rains foreseen and the gu’ season having failed, the drought emergency is likely to deteriorate further.

• As of May, 6.1 million people have been affected by the drought emergency, of whom 771,400 have been displaced from their homes in search of water, food and pasture: the majority are women and children.

• As the country faces the risk of famine in six areas, partners are transitioning from drought response to famine prevention, reorienting responses to target the most vulnerable populations and developing a Famine Prevention Plan.

• Partners have rolled out over 30 district level Area Based Coordination forums covering drought Operational Priority Areas 1 and 2, where partners exist but have weak operational coordination, information gaps and urgent unmet needs.

• The humanitarian response is preventing the worst outcomes. Utilizing available resources, partners have reached at least 2.8 million people affected by drought with life-saving assistance since January. In districts with populations at risk of famine, food security response is high, while health, nutrition, shelter and WASH response needs to be scaled up.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Light to moderate rain were recorded in parts of southern, central and northwestern Somalia during April to mid-May, with localized storms and flash flooding in some areas, but the amounts were below average, poorly distributed and insufficient to alleviate the current drought conditions, according to FAO-SWALIM. As a result of the poor gu’ rains, Somalia is facing a fourth consecutive failed rainy season and a heightened risk of localized famine in six areas particularly if food prices continue to rise and humanitarian assistance is not sustained to reach the most vulnerable people. The next rainy season is projected to be below average, meaning the drought emergency will worsen. Already, 6.1 million people have been affected by the drought emergency, of whom 771,400 have been displaced from their homes in search of water, food and pasture. Over 80 per cent of those displaced are women and children. In addition, health partners have reported an increase in admission of acutely malnourished children in stabilization centres linked to the increased number of suspected Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera cases. At least 3,720 suspected cases of cholera and 6,216 cases of measles have been confirmed since January 2022 from the drought-affected areas. Furthermore, the worsening drought continues to severely impact access to education. As of 8 May, at least 158 schools in Galmudug, Jubaland, Puntland and South West states have been closed, affecting about 60,000 learners.

In light of the failed 2022 gu’ rainy season and a likely deterioration of the drought conditions in the months ahead, partners are transitioning from drought response to famine prevention, scaling up activities, reorienting responses and targeting the most vulnerable people in priority areas. In support of the shift to famine response, partners are developing a Drought Response and Famine Prevention Plan covering the period May to December 2022. Drought and famine prevention response efforts are already shifting to priority areas, thus preventing the worst outcomes. As of April, at least 54 per cent of those targeted in Operational Priority Areas (OPA) 1 districts have received assistance. Increased response efforts and reduced drought displacement rates have contributed to the decrease in OPA 1 districts from 31 in April to 26 in May. So far, the humanitarian response is preventing the worst outcomes. Since January, partners have reached at least 2.8 million drought-affected people with life-saving assistance utilizing available resources. This includes at least 1.2 million people of the 1.9 million targeted in all 17 districts with the population at risk of famine (IPC 5). The Food Security response is high, while Health, Nutrition and WASH interventions need to be scaled up in those districts.

In addition, partners have rolled out over 30 district level Area Based Coordination (ABC) forums covering Operational Priority Area 1 and 2, where there are many partners but weak operational coordination, information gaps, situation monitoring, and urgent but unmet lifesaving needs. The ABCs are recognized as Area Humanitarian Coordination Groups and are coordinated by a designated local partner/INGO (depending on location), with the support of OCHA and are leveraged to inform the coordinated delivery of emergency assistance to the most vulnerable.

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