Somalia: Shocks, agricultural livelihoods and food security, Monitoring report November 2021

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Key highlights

The main shocks reported by interviewed households included dry spells, high food prices, sickness or death of household members, loss of income, pests and diseases affecting both crops and livestock, and high fuel prices. > Somalia’s food-security situation remains dire, with 3.5 million people expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity through the end of 2021. In addition, 1.2 million children under 5 are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 213 400 who are likely to be severely malnourished by July 2022.

Poor rains have resulted in lower-than-average Gu crop yields in the south and poor harvest prospects in north-west agro-pastoral livelihood zones (Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit [FSNAU] and Famine Early Warning Systems Network [FEWS NET], 2021).
More than half of crop-producing households reported decreased production during the Gu season compared to a typical year.

Drought continues to ravage the country. After two failed growing seasons due to pasture and water shortages, drought is likely to persist through the Deyr (rainy) season, which lasts from October to December (FAO, 2021a; Intergovernmental Panel on Development – Climate Prediction and Application Center [ICPAC], 2021a;
ICPAC, 2021b).

Conflict and insecurity remain prominent: 574 000 displacements occurred in 2021 alone, of which 413 000 were due to conflict, aggravating preexisting vulnerabilities (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], 2021a.

Difficulties reported by crop-producing households included inadequate water for irrigation, plant pests and diseases, lack of insecticides, low seed quality, crop loss and damage and lack of farm inputs including seeds, fertilizer and equipment.

Difficulties with crop sales included: low farm-gate prices; reduced demand; high marketing costs induced by increased transportation costs; crop damage and loss (due to flooding and withering); and difficulty processing produce.

Livestock production challenges included: constrained access to pasture and water, pests and diseases, limited access to veterinary services; high cost of feed; a lack of market access and conflict or insecurity.

Livestock-producing households reported low prices for their production, reduced demand, difficulties accessing slaughterhouses and high marketing costs. Reduced prices can be attributed to emaciated livestock as a result of inadequate pasture and water resources (FAO, 2021a).

Among fishing households, 31 percent reported decreased production compared to the previous year. The most frequently reported challenges included restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, difficulties accessing fishing inputs and labour, challenges finding fish and high fuel prices.

Household Dietary Diversity Scores indicated that 22 percent of households had consumed 5–12 food groups in the previous 24 hours, 44 percent had consumed 3–4 food groups and 34 percent had consumed 0–2 food groups.

In the 30 days preceding the survey, 19 percent of respondents employed Stress-level coping strategies, 45 percent engaged in Crisis-level coping strategies and 24 percent resorted to Emergency-level coping strategies.

Based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), 47 percent of respondents experienced moderate or severe food insecurity, and 17 percent experienced severe food insecurity. According to Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) thresholds for the FIES, 34 percent had scores in line with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity.

Ninety-four percent of respondents expressed the need for assistance. Major needs included inputs, veterinary services, water for irrigation, cash, assistance with livestock production, marketing support, storage facilities, land access and rehabilitation, and information on how to minimize COVID-19 infections.