Somalia

Somalia Key Message Update, March 2018

Attachments

Increased likelihood of average Gu rainfall in southern and central Somalia

Key Messages

Preliminary findings from the post-Jilaal assessment conducted by FSNAU and FEWS NET indicate many households continue to rely on social support, loans, and humanitarian assistance to access food. Assistance reached 2.1 million people in January and 1.9 million people in February, 70-75 percent of the estimated 2.7 million in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. Assistance is preventing more extreme outcomes, and Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) persist in many areas, including Northern Inland Pastoral and Bay Agropastoral livelihood zones. It is expected food security would deteriorate significantly in the absence of assistance, and worst-affected populations in northern and central areas would be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, key informant information indicates 20-30 percent of sheep and goats died in January due to lack of access to pasture and water. Livestock deaths declined notably in February and March, though, following the delivery of animal feed from Save the Children Fund. However, data from the Food Security Cluster and ground reports indicate cash/voucher and in-kind assistance has declined in recent months. Similar reports were made concerning parts of Addun Pastoral livelihood zone. It is expected an increasing number of people in these livelihood zones are facing wide food consumption gaps and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely in the continued absence of assistance.

Gu rainfall typically starts in April and is occasionally preceded by rainfall in late March known locally as Jar/Toddob rains. This year, rainfall began in early March, and many southern and some central regions have received 25-75 mm of rainfall. Land preparation and planting is ongoing, and some dry-planted seeds have germinated. Additionally, river water levels in the Shabelle have risen due to heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands. This has prompted irrigated cultivation in Hiraan and Middle Shabelle, though areas further south including Qorioley, Kurtunwarrey, and Sablale have not yet planted.

In southern and central areas, rainfall is now forecast to be above average in April, and below average in May and June. Given that rainfall was received in March and above average rainfall is forecast in April, the month in which the majority of total seasonal rainfall is typically received, it is now expected that total seasonal rainfall in southern and central Somalia will be near average. In northern regions, though, little to no rainfall was received in March and below-average rainfall is still forecast throughout the April to June season.