• The drought emergency in Somalia has intensified.
About 572,700 people have been displaced internally by drought between October 2021 and February 2022, more than double the 259,500 people displaced during the same period in 2016/17.
• Health authorities have reported a measles outbreak in Somalia; nearly 2,000 suspected cases have been reported in February, compared to about 1,535 suspected cases in January. At least nine related deaths have been reported in Jubaland State.
• To expedite the scale up of drought response and improve coordination, OCHA has re-activated the virtual Disaster Operation Coordination Center (DOCC) in Mogadishu.
• The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) has allocated US$25 million to provide immediate assistance to communities hard-hit by the drought emergency in priority locations.
• At least 3,000 people are to benefit from a new borehole in Bali Sugule Village, Togdheer Region in Somaliland.
DROUGHT INTENSIFYING AS PARTNERS RAMP UP ASSISTANCE
Humanitarian partners and authorities continued to scale up assistance to mitigate the adverse outcomes of the drought emergency in Somalia. The drought emergency has intensified, with the number of people affected increasing to about 4.5 million people, up from 3.2 million in December 2021; and this number is steadily rising. About 671,000 people have been displaced internally in search of water, food, livelihoods and pasture. The displacement trend indicates higher numbers than during the 2016/17 drought emergency. According to the Protection and Return Monitoring Network, about 259,500 people were displaced between October 2016 and February 2017, compared to 572,700 people displaced between October 2021 and February 2022. Reports from Baardheere, Gedo region, Jubaland State, inform of deaths of children and adults from causes related to drought. Pastoralists have reported significant loss of livestock, a main source of livelihoods in the country.
In Bakool region, authorities estimate that up to 10,000 cattle, sheep, goats and camels died in February alone. Authorities in Hiraan region also reported loss of large numbers of livestock.
Pasture and water are close to complete depletion in key pastoral livelihoods across Somalia, according to FAO-SWALIM.
The high demand for water is overstretching functional permanent water sources, with preliminary survey findings informing of 15 to 24 pumping hours per day for many boreholes. Along the Juba and Shabelle rivers, current water levels are below their historical minimum and dry riverbeds are observed in many sections of the two rivers. This has affected irrigated agriculture in areas that depend on the two rivers and the quality of the river water has deteriorated, likely contributing to increased cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in some districts. While drought conditions are expected to get worse until the start of the April rains, SWALIM informs that forecasts from major climate information services indicate differing outlooks1 for the April to June 2022 season, ranging from likely average to above-average rainfall and average to belowaverage rainfall. Given the failure of three consecutive rainy seasons since October 2020, SWALIM has observed that extended drought impacts are likely to be experienced in parts of Somalia even under the more optimistic rainfall forecasts.
Acute malnutrition levels are projected to deteriorate across much of Somalia from February to April. Urgent treatment and nutrition support are required for approximately 1.4 million children under age 5, who will likely face acute malnutrition between January and December 2022, including 329,500 who are likely to be severely malnourished2 . In particular, high levels of acute malnutrition have been reported among new IDP arrivals in Banadir, Baidoa, Gaalkacyo, Baardheere, Belet Xaawo and Belet Weyne.
Furthermore, about 10,000 learners have been affected by the closure of 60 schools in Galmudug and Jubaland states due to the drought emergency.
In addition, food assistance for drought-affected families in Afgooye, Baardheere, Belet Weyne, Berbera, Borama, Bossaso, Burco, Burtinle, Diinsoor, Eyl, Jowhar, Lughaye and Marka districts is below 25 per cent of the target, due to lack of adequate funding for most partners and challenging access in hard-toreach areas. Shelter Cluster partners report that about 60 per cent of the households displaced by drought need assistance to access shelter and non-food items.
To respond to the drought emergency, humanitarian partners are prioritizing operational areas by identifying locations where the drought-related impact is most severe, classifying districts into categories that define the response approach required and facilitating multi-cluster rapid response efforts. In January, 128 humanitarian partners reached at least 1.4 million people with different forms of assistance.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.