Somalia

Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue #17, 21-29 April 2011

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Key Overall Developments

Drought/Displacements

Somalia could slide deeper into crisis due to the combination of drought, skyrocketing food prices and constant population displacement as a result of the ongoing conflict, the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Somali Water and Land Management Unit (SWALIM) have warned. On 27 April, the two FAO units issued a press statement saying that the situation could lead to an increase in the number of Somalis in need of assistance from the current 2.4 million.

“The impact of the drought is affecting most parts of Somalia leading to livestock deaths, and increasing food prices, which are making it increasingly difficult for poor families to feed themselves,” said Grainne Moloney, the FSNAU Chief Technical Advisor. Cereal prices have increased by 134 per cent in comparison to the same time last year. With the absence of sufficient humanitarian assistance in south Somalia due to insecurity, the population is likely to suffer more.

Although it is too early to predict the outcome of the current rains, average cereal harvests are anticipated as farmers heavily depend on rains and river irrigation. The Shabelle and Juba River levels are far below their historical normal levels due to the failure of rains in the Ethiopians highlands where they originate. However, reports indicate that various parts of the country have received rains in the past week and some water catchments have been replenished.

An unconfirmed number of people from Bay and Bakool regions have been displaced to Luuq, Gedo region, due the ongoing drought. The displaced are said to be moving towards refugee camps in Ethiopia to benefit from ongoing humanitarian assistance. Since 1 December, UNHCR estimates that the drought has caused the displacement of nearly 55,000 people.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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