In January, FEWS NET and FSNAU released joint statements on deteriorating food security in Somalia and the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in a worst-case scenario in which the April to June 2017 Gu season performs very poorly, purchasing power declines to levels seen in 2010/11, and humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need. In the most likely scenario, though, agropastoral areas of Bay/Bakool and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone are expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes, and associated risk of increased mortality, through September.
The April to June Gu season is currently forecast to be slightly below average. Terms of trade in southern regions are expected to decline significantly, and may be only slightly better than 2011 levels. Terms of trade in northern regions will be slightly more favorable, given stable rice prices.
Humanitarian access is relatively better than in 2011 and humanitarian partners are present in previously inaccessible areas of southern Somalia. Humanitarian partners distributed emergency assistance to over 1,079,000 beneficiaries in February, reaching over 50 percent of the need in many areas of Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone and 35 percent of the need in Baidoa, two areas of high concern.
An estimated 2,912,000 people will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phases 4) acute food insecurity between now and the peak of the agricultural lean season in June.
Urgent humanitarian assistance is needed to save lives and livelihoods.
The ongoing drought has led to high levels of internal and external displacement. According to recent reports by UNHCR, an estimated 256,000 people are newly displaced within Somalia, the majority of whom are in Mudug, Bay, and Banadir (Mogadishu). People have also sought refuge in Dolo Ado camp in Ethiopia, where the over 4,100 Somalis have arrived since January 2017.
The scarcity of safe drinking water has led to an outbreak of AWD/cholera. According to WHO, there have been 10,571 cases reported and 269 deaths since January 2017. Nearly half of all cases where reported in Bay, and the majority of these cases were in Baidoa town where crowding of newly displaced households is likely exacerbating the outbreak.
FSNAU plans to conduct SMART surveys in Bay Agropastoral, Northern Inland Pastoral, Bakool Pastoral livelihood zones,
Baidoa IDPs and Mogadishu IDPs in early April. The results of these integrated surveys will update the malnutrition, mortality and food security status of these areas.