· Between December 2020 and late April 2021, most parts of Somalia experienced moderate to severe drought as a result of below-average Deyr season rainfall from October to December 2020, warmer-than-normal temperatures during the January to March 2021 Jilaal season and a delayed, poor start and performance of 2021 Gu (March/April to June) season rainfall. Further rainfall is expected through mid-May, covering many parts of the country. However, cumulative rainfall amounts are likely to remain below average in many parts of central and southern Somalia. Moreover continuation of the Gu rains in late May through June is uncertain. Accordingly, the 2021 Gu season cereal production in Somalia is expected to be 20-40 percent below average.
· Pasture, browse and water availability continued to deteriorate/or deplete in most of northern and central Somalia and large parts of southern Somalia. Extreme water shortages, widespread reliance on water trucking, and high water prices have been reported in most pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihood zones since January. Most livestock are concentrated near water points with limited migration options. Cases of abortion and livestock death among small ruminants have occurred due to insufficient feed, water, and drought-induced disease in several regions in northern and central Somalia.
· Due to the extended impact of the drought between late December 2020 and late April 2021, the food security situation in most rural livelihoods of northern and central Somalia has deteriorated. Due to limited herd size, lack of saleable animals, lack of access to milk, increased expenditures and high debt levels, most poor pastoral households in northern and central regions face food consumption gaps and are classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between April and September 2021.
· The food security situation in southern Somalia has also continued to deteriorate since the beginning of 2021, driven by the negative impacts of below average 2020 Deyr season main and off-season harvests, a harsh Jilaal that evolved into drought conditions, the delayed, poor start of 2021 Gu season rainfall, and insecurity on agricultural employment opportunities, crop development, and livestock production. Accordingly, most livelihood zones of southern Somalia are currently classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, a rising share of poor households in these livelihood zones face food consumption gaps, and several areas are projected to be classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between July and September 2021.
· Most of the IDPs in the main settlements and the urban poor are currently facing food consumption gaps due to limited income-generating activities and rising staple food prices that have reduced household purchasing power. As a result, they have been classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between April and June 2021. Given rising food prices and reduced income and employment opportunities, food security outcomes are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) among IDPs in the main settlements and among poor urban households between July and September 2021.
· Approximately 2.73 million to 2.83 million people across Somalia are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes between April and September 2021, reflecting the deteriorating food security situation in the country.
· Food assistance reached an average of 1.6 million people per month between January and April 2021. Humanitarian assistance is preventing further deterioration of food security outcomes at the household level in many areas. However, given the scale of need, current level of food assistance is inadequate to prevent widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Given the worsening food security situation across Somalia, assistance must be scaled up and sustained through the end of the year.