Somalia Food Security Update, October 2008

Situation Report
Originally published


Food Security Summary:

- Due to the combined effects of drought, conflict and inflation, the food security condition in many parts of Somalia, especially in south and central regions, continues to deteriorate. Over 3 million people, or 43 percent of the country’s population, require humanitarian assistance.

- More than 44,000 refugees from Somalia have been registered in Dadaab camps, in northeastern Kenya, since January 2008 due to civil insecurity and increased destitution. As of September, an average of 5,000 people/month have been arriving at the camps. With the continued deterioration of conditions in south and central Somalia, it is conceivable that the number of new arrivals will continue to increase over the coming weeks, although the current rains may affect these flows by making roads conditions unfavorable.

- In the most likely scenario, the food security of drought and conflict-affected displaced populations, the urban poor, and rural communities in the south and central regions will change between January and March 2009. Instead, they will remain highly or extremely food insecure as conflict, inflation, high malnutrition levels and disruption of import and internal trade will continue to prevail.

- In the worst-case scenario, the deyr rains from mid-Oct. to December will perform poorly, leading to even higher livestock mortality and to destitution among poor pastoral households. Meanwhile, severe floods will occur along the Juba and Shabelle rivers due to heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands. Civil insecurity will increase, displacing more people, restricting markets and humanitarian access, and further increasing prices. The food security of drought affected pastoral communities, urban and rural households in the southern and central regions would worsen and more than 3.5 million people would require humanitarian assistance.