Following three consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, drought conditions persist across most of Somalia. An estimated 3.3 million people are currently facing Crisis (IPC 3) and Emergency (IPC 4) levels* of acute food insecurity, according to the Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). A well-below average July harvest, high staple food prices and large-scale livestock losses are limiting household food availability and income. Adding to this, the October-to-December rains were delayed 20 – 30 days in parts of southern and central Somalia, and rainfall totals were less than 50 percent of average. While rainfall increased during early November and seasonal totals may be as high as 80 percent of average, the delayed onset is likely to adversely affect crop production.
Furthermore, FSNAU reports April-to-June 2018 rainfall is likely to be belowaverage, potentially leading to a fifth consecutive season of poor rainfall and further deterioration in food security. Even if humanitarian assistance continues at current levels, the risk of Famine (IPC 5) remains in the worst-affected areas. Continued large-scale humanitarian assistance will be required to prevent loss of lives and collapse of livelihoods.
Acute malnutrition remains high and continues to deteriorate among vulnerable households, particularly among displaced populations. The national median global acute malnutrition rate is 17.4 percent, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year’s estimate of 14.5 percent. An estimated 388,000 children under 5 are acutely malnourished, including 87,000 who are experiencing severe acute malnutrition (SAM), according to nutrition surveys conducted by FSNAU between June and July 2017.
The USAID Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food-insecure Somali households and internally displaced populations countrywide with emergency food and nutrition assistance. FFP partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP), other public international organizations and non-governmental organizations on relief, nutrition, livelihoods, social safety net and resilienceoriented activities. These activities include in-kind food and nutrition assistance as well as cash- and market-based interventions, such as unconditional cash transfers, cash-for-work activities, food vouchers and vocational training.
Through the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), FFP also provides in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) for treatment of severe acute malnutrition, as well as support for enhanced bottleneck analysis of SAM programming, nutrition supply chain integration into health systems, and monitoring and evaluation of program activities.