Somalia

Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin, January 2022

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Drought has worsened in many parts of Somalia and could push the country to the verge of a catastrophe in coming months. Over 4.3 million people are affected, up from 3.2 million a month ago, with over 271,000 displaced in search of water, food and pasture.

  • Health facilities are reporting increased admissions of children with malnutrition, especially in areas affected by drought in Galmudug, Jubaland, Puntland and South West states. In many drought-affected areas, Global Acute Malnutrition is at Serious level (10 to 14.9 per cent), rising to Critical (15 per cent or more) in some locations.

  • Evictions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from their temporary shelters is contributing to new and secondary displacement. Over 2,400 IDP sites exist in Somalia, of which 85 per cent are built on private land.

  • An estimated 98 per cent of Somali women aged 15 to 49 years old have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the majority between ages 5 and 9 years. There is no national legislation outlawing FGM, but Puntland passed an FGM Zero Tolerance Bill in 2021.

  • Since October 2021, at least 15,000 people who were recently displaced by drought have been registered in Qansahaley and Kabaasa settlements in Doolow Town, Gedo Region, and in nearby Qurdubay and Kaxarey sites.

DROUGHT CONDITIONS DEEPENING IN SOMALIA

Drought has deepened in Somalia and could push the country to the verge of a catastrophe in the coming months. Due to the deteriorating situation, the number of people affected has increased by nearly 35 per cent in just one month, from 3.2 million to about 4.3 million people. Of these, about 271,000 people have been displaced from their homes in search of food, water and pasture, according to data from partners. A rapid assessment by Save the Children estimates that over 3.6 million people do not have enough water, a critical need for both household and livestock consumption. Other reports indicate that livestock and crop losses are mounting, decimating a key source of livelihood for Somali families. Jubaland State, the central regions of Somalia and adjacent areas are facing extreme drought, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The poor rains during the last three consecutive seasons have resulted in failed crop harvests and widespread water shortages, triggering abnormal livestock migration, decline in livestock production and increased livestock deaths. Water and food prices continue to rise sharply in affected areas.

Extreme water shortages, and lack of sanitation and hygiene facilities have heightened the risk of disease outbreaks. Children are dropping out of school as parents can no longer afford to pay fees. Food insecurity and malnutrition are increasing. Furthermore, drought-induced migration is on the rise, as people move in search of water, food, pasture and basic services. In Galmudug State, authorities estimate that 657,000 people are affected by drought, and have established four sites to accommodate the new arrivals. In Jubaland State, at least 140,000 people have been displaced since October 2021, and pastoralists have lost 80 per cent of their cattle. Similarly, in Puntland, over 34,000 affected people in Jariiban District need urgent assistance. Somaliland, which was previously less impacted, is facing moderate to severe drought conditions; authorities estimate that 810,000 people are affected. In South West State, the CCCM Cluster reports that 18,462 people were displaced in January from rural areas to towns in Bay and Bakool regions. IOM’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix analysis indicates that deteriorating drought conditions in Somalia could displace over 1 million people by April, if urgent action to mitigate the situation is not taken.

The drought conditions are expected to worsen until the start of the gu’ rains in April, which is likely to devastate livelihoods. Water levels in Juba and Shabelle rivers are at historically low levels, and some sections may dry up in February. Local communities, authorities and humanitarian partners are scaling up assistance and intensifying resource mobilization, but additional funding for priority sectors is urgently required to save lives and livelihoods, including substantive and early funding for the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has warned that without urgent preventative action to alleviate the crisis, lives could be lost to the escalating drought.

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