Somalia FSNAU Food Security & Nutrition Quarterly Brief - Focus on 2019 Post-Deyr Season Early Warning, Issued December 27, 2019
The 2019 Deyr (October-December) rains began earlier than normal between mid-September and early October in some parts of Somalia. The rains expanded to cover most parts of the country between mid-October and early December. The overall rainfall performance in terms of amount and distribution was average to above average in southern Somalia and many parts of central and northern regions.
However, excessive rainfall in October and November resulted in extreme river floods as well as flash floods, leading to population displacement, crop damage and disruptions to road networks in several areas of Somalia. Most flood-affected areas are in Hiiraan, Middle Shabelle, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, Gedo and Bay regions. In flood-affected areas, 400,000-500,000 people were displaced, mainly in Beledweyne of Hiiraan, Berdaale of Bay region, Baardhere of Gedo, Jammame of Lower Juba and other areas, while swathes of agricultural areas and standing crops were submerged.
River floods and flash floods from excessive rainfall have caused moderate damage to crops, especially in riverine livelihood zones. Accordingly, FSNAU estimates total 2019 Deyr season cereal production to be 80-90 percent of the long-term (post-war) average for 1995-2018. On the other hand, a significant increase in sesame crop cultivation is anticipated from late December 2019 onwards.
In the crop growing areas of agropastoral livelihood zones in northwest Somalia (Woqooyi Galbeed, Awdal and Togdheer regions), below-average March to May rainfall initially compromised crop performance for the 2019 Gu/Karan (April-September) season. Based on assessments conducted in July 2019, FSNAU/FEWS NET, in collaboration with the Somaliland Ministry of Agriculture Development had estimated that 2019 Gu-Karan cereal production was 23 000 tons, with the harvest expected in November. However, intensified Karan rains in August and September significantly improved Gu/Karan harvest prospects in the region, despite some damage to maturing crops from excessive rainfall. As a result, FSNAU has revised its estimates and expects 2019 Gu/Karan cereal harvests in northwest Somalia could reach up to 30 000 tons and will be harvested in December 2019.
According to Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN) data from UNHCR, over half a million people were displaced between July and November 2019 across Somalia due to floods (71%), conflict/insecurity (15%) and drought related (13%) causes.
Between July and November 2019, there has been sustained large scale food assistance reaching between 1.7 million to 2 million rural, IDP, and urban people every month.
Results from 22 integrated nutrition surveys conducted among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and urban populations across Somalia In November 2019 by FSNAU in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and partners indicate a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence of (13.1%), reflecting similar levels of Serious (GAM WHZ 10-14.9%) acute malnutrition since the 2018 Deyr (11.7%) and 2019 Gu (12.9%).
As a result of improved access to milk, improving livestock herd sizes as well as increased agricultural employment opportunities in most agropastoral areas, most rural livelihood zones of Somalia are currently classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) in the presence of food assistance. In areas where sustained humanitarian assistance has reached more than 25 percent of the population, it is likely preventing worse food security outcomes, particularly in northern and central regions. Exceptions include some pastoral livelihood zones in northern and central Somalia that are currently classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3), as a result of the cumulative impact of consecutive seasons of poor rainfall performance since 2017 on livestock assets. With the arrival of a near average Deyr harvest between January and March/April 2020, further improvements in the overall food security situation in Somalia are likely between February and June 2020.
Most of the main IDP settlements are currently classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Given the level of destitution among IDPs and their limited livelihood options, their food security situation is unlikely to improve significantly during the projection period (February-June 2020). The results of the FSNAU Deyr assessment show that urban populations in some regions (Toghdeer, Mudug, Galgadud and Lower Juba) are currently facing food consumption gaps and are classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3). With the prospect of improved food security in rural areas, this is expected to have spillover effects as staple food prides become more affordable, leading to improvements in purchasing power and improved food access among urban households, especially the poor. As a result, food security outcomes are likely to improve from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in Mudug and Galgadud between February and June 2020.
In urban Beletweyne, where floods have disrupted livelihoods and caused large population displacement, significant humanitarian assistance is currently preventing targeted households to meet minimally adequate food consumption requirements. Therefore urban Beletwyene is currently classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) when considering the positive impact of humanitarian assistance Food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between December 2019 and June 202 as they will be facing food consumption gasps that they will not be able to reduce without continued humanitarian assistance.