1. Background and Humanitarian needs
Somalia continued to face multiple threats, including the COVID-19 pand emic,
Desert Locusts and poor rains from the Deyr season. In the north of the country, the situation was further aggravated by unprecedented rainfall and strong-winds from Cyclone Gati in November, which caused flash floods resulting in crop, livestock and property losses, particularly in Iskushuban district of Bari region. Approximately 120,000 people were affected, including the displacement of around 42,100 people.
Food insecurity is expected to worsen in 2021 across Somalia, driven by the effects of localized floods, below-average rainfall and a worsening Desert Locust infestation. In the absence of humanitarian assistance, over 2.7 million people are expected to face crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity by mid-2021, according to the findings of the 2020 post-Deyr seasonal food security and nutrition assessment. An additional 2.9 million people are expected to be under food stress, bringing the total number of people facing acute food insecurity to 5.6 million. Approximately 840,000 children under the age of 5 are likely to be acutely malnourished, including nearly 143,000 who are likely to be severely malnourished.
While large-scale humanitarian food assistance and government support since July 2020 is likely to have mitigated the magnitude and severity of food insecurity, the situation is expected to deteriorate towards mid-year among poor rural, urban and displaced populations. The situation will likely be exacerbated by erratic weather patterns which are expected to continue in 2021, including La Niña in the first quarter of the year, with drought conditions forecast due to a harsh Jilaal dry season (January-March 2021) and possible delayed or poor Gu rains (April-June 2021). Already, pre-drought conditions have been recorded in Somaliland, Jubaland, Galmudug and Puntland, characterized by widely depleted berkeds and shallow wells, loss of livestock, as well as extensive critical loss of pasture. In addition, the Desert Locust infestation is expected to remain serious until at least March 2021, particularlyas control measures are a challenge in the south due to limited ground and aerial access.