Somalia faces large scale food insecurity and malnutrition through June 2016
953 000 people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4); 304 700 children acutely malnourished
• Somalia faces large-scale food insecurity between now and June 2016 as a result of poor rainfall and drought conditions in several areas, trade disruption, a combination of protracted and new population displacement, all of which is exacerbated by chronic poverty. Acute malnutrition remains high in many parts of the country.
• The latest findings from the 2015/16 Post Deyr countrywide seasonal assessment by FSNAU and partners indicate that 931 000 people will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 22 000 people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) across Somalia through June 2016. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) represent 68 percent of the total number of people in Crisis and Emergency, rural populations (26 percent) and urban populations (6 percent). Approximately 3.7 million additional people across the country are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through mid-2016. In total, nearly 4.7 million people or 38 percent of the total population of Somalia are acutely food insecure and will be in need of humanitarian assistance between now and June 2016 (Table 1).
• Urgent lifesaving humanitarian assistance and livelihood support is required for populations in Emergency and Crisis (IPC Phases 4 and 3) through June 2016. Populations experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity remain highly vulnerable to shocks that could push them back to Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4). They should be supported in order to protect their livelihoods and boost their resilience to shocks.
• Internally Displaced Persons continue to represent a large proportion (60-75%) of the total population in Crisis and Emergency over the past three years (Figure 1). This indicates the protracted nature of the food security crisis among displaced populations and calls for medium to long term food security programme/response, including integration of explicit goals and strategies in the preparation of the Somalia National Development Plan (NDP) in order to support sustainable and durable solutions.
• Results from 39 separate nutrition surveys conducted from October to December 2016 by FSNAU and partners also indicate that an estimated 304 700 children under the age of five were acutely malnourished at the time of the survey. This includes 58 300 children under the age of five that are severely malnourished and face increased risk of morbidity and death.
• Despite changes in seasonal food security and livelihood outcomes and continued humanitarian interventions, Critical rates of acute malnutrition persist among several population groups. This shows the protracted nature of the nutrition crisis among these groups.
• Urgent nutrition and health support for the acutely malnourished is needed now and through mid-2016. However, this is not enough for populations experiencing persistently high levels of acute malnutrition. They need additional multifaceted interventions such as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement that are aimed at addressing the underlying causes and contributing factors of malnutrition.
• Climate continues to play a determinant role in shaping food security patterns throughout rural Somalia in both positive and negative ways. Most parts of Southern and Central Somalia received average to above-average Deyr (October-December) rains in terms of amount as well as spatial and temporal distribution. As a result, cereal production in Southern Regions (including off-season production expected in March), was estimated at 28 percent above the long-term average (1995-2014) and 18 percent above the five-year average (2010-2014).
• The situation is very different in the North. Rainfall during the 2015 Gu (April-June) and Karan (August-September) were below average. This had a severe impact on the Gu/Karan cereal harvest in the Northwest agropastoral livelihood zones, which is estimated at 87 percent lower than the five-year average (2010-2014).
• Below normal rainfall and drought conditions prevailed in large portions of Northwest and Northeast Somalia leading to large-scale abnormal outmigration of livestock, rising water prices and sharp increase in debt levels among poor households. In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone of Awdal Region in the Northwest, unseasonal moderate rains in November followed by near normal Hays rains in December contributed to a moderate improvement in terms of pasture and water availability. However, due the large influx of livestock in-migration from drought affected parts of Djibouti, Ethiopia and other adjacent livelihoods and the dry Jilaal season, the improved pasture and water will likely be exhausted soon. Drought conditions are expected to prevail until at least the start of the 2016 Gu season when rainfall brings some relief to nearby drought-affected areas and opens up the possibility for livestock migration to other areas. The prevailing drought conditions and consequent food security outcomes are expected to worsen at least until the start of Gu rains in April and needs to be monitored closely.
• Current forecasts point towards a near-average 2016 Gu season rainfall in Somalia. However, during the El Nino transition period, close monitoring is required.