Five million Somalis – more than 40 per cent of the country’s population – are food insecure, up by 300,000 from February 2016, according to the latest assessment by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). Among them are 300,000 children under age 5 who are acutely malnourished and over 50,000 severely malnourished children.
The assessment indicates that the food and nutrition situation is not showing signs of abating. More than 1.1 million Somalis are unable to meet their daily food requirements, while another 3.9 million require livelihood support. An estimated 1.1 million internally displaced persons are among the most vulnerable groups. Nearly 58 per cent of acutely food insecure people are internally displaced people.
Poor Gu (April to June) rains, floods and trade disruption, coupled with displacements, contributed to a worsening of the food security situation. The 2016 Gu rains started late and ended earlier than usual in most regions. The flooding that affected riverine livelihoods and adjacent urban areas in parts of southern and central Somalia (Hiraan, Juba and Jowhar District of Middle Shabelle) during the Gu season, exacerbated the deterioration of food security in these areas, according to the FSNAU.
Efforts to reduce levels of vulnerabilities continue to be undermined by irregular weather patterns. However, cereal production has been good in some parts of Somaliland, particularly the western regions which has brought relief in crop growing areas that were affected by drought. Drought conditions continue in pastoral areas of Somaliland and Puntland. Poor rainfall in southern and central Somalia, the breadbasket of the country, has led to a reduction in cereal production by nearly half, compared to the long-term average, according to the FSNAU. Conflict and access constraints, including increased refugee returns have also compounded the situation in Somalia. Humanitarian partners continue to deliver assistance to save lives and strengthen resilience of Somalis.
Authorities appeal for urgent assistance for drought-affected people
Authorities in Lower Juba on 28 September appealed for urgent humanitarian intervention in areas near Afmadow, Badhadhe and Kismayo districts. These areas have limited humanitarian presence and have experienced poor Gu rains. Water and food were among priority needs highlighted by authorities. And in Puntland, authorities on 5 October declared a drought emergency and appealed for urgent humanitarian assistance due to worsening drought conditions.
Press release by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs