WFP Somalia Country Brief, May 2020

Situation Report
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In Numbers

USD 1.7 m cash-based transfers made

5,810 mt of food assistance distributed

USD 223.8 M six months net funding requirements representing 53 percent of the total USD 418.7 m for the next six months (June-November 2020)

One million people assisted in May 2020

Operational Updates

The food security situation continues to decline with more than 3.5 million people projected to be food insecure (IPC 3 and above) between July and September. The triple threat of economic impacts of COVID-19, floods during the ongoing Gu (April to June) rainfall season, and desert locust upsurge are exacerbating the severity of food insecurity in Somalia, leading to exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities, disrupted socio-economic activities and affected livelihoods especially for low-income earners. An estimated 50 percent decline in remittances will further worsen an already dire food and nutrition security situation for over 40 percent of food insecure Somali families who rely on remittances from relatives and friends living abroad for their livelihood. Additionally, desert locusts’ upsurge in northern and central regions, and the risk of expansion to southern Somalia remains of high concern though July 2020. Control measures to prevent the spread of the locusts have been insufficient (especially in areas with limited access).

The Gu harvest has the potential to partially alleviate the negative impacts of the desert locusts on crop production.
However, the rains during the 2020 GU season also provided favourable breeding grounds for the desert locusts and therefore, the impact of the locusts on agricultural and livestock production are expected to be notable. GU rains have also subsided in most part of the country and people affected by floods continue to return to their homes but still require lifesaving assistance to enable them meet food and nutrition needs.

In response to the increased needs, WFP is preparing a budget revision to increase relief assistance to reach two million food insecure people in 2020. In the context of COVID-19, WFP has adjusted its programming in order to minimise risks of exposure to recipients of WFP’s assistance. WFP introduced mobile money transfers in April which allows greater flexibility as it provides a solution for beneficiaries to receive transfers in remote areas and where banking facilities are not present. This contactless modality will help expand programme coverage and reduce travel distances and associated risks for the people receiving cash-based assistance. This option is in use in the Government rural safety-net and it is gradually being rolled out to other programmes. By end of May, WFP had transferred cash entitlements to 12,190 households. Under the school feeding programme, WFP has signed an agreement with Ministry of Education (MOE) in Somaliland to support 40,000 children with take home rations in rural schools in Somaliland in June and July 2020.