FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops and Shortages  - 02/05 - SOMALIA* (11 February)

SOMALIA* (11 February)

The recent Asian tsunami has affected also a number of settlements in Somali along a 650-km stretch of coast line between Hafun district and the town of Gara’ad in North Mudug region, Puntland State. The brutal waves are estimated to have caused the death of between 100-300 people and displaced 5 000 people. Fishing gear and equipment were lost in large quantities and hundreds of homes and boats were destroyed or damaged, while fresh water wells and reservoirs became unusable. Up to 30 000 people are in need of relief assistance till the start of the next fishing season at the end of 2005.

In southern Somalia, harvesting of the 2004/05 secondary “deyr” season cereal crop, which normally accounts for 25 to 30 percent of annual cereal production, is almost complete. In its post deyr seasonal assessment report, the Somalia Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) indicated that the exceptionally good 2004/05 deyr rains have led to above average cereal production in most cropping areas. Accordingly, the season’s production is estimated at more than 122 000 tonnes, 21 percent above the post-war average. Elsewhere, the 2004 “karan” cereal production, harvested in December 2004 in north-western Somalia was estimated at about 17 000 tonnes, which is 17 percent above the post-war average. At this level, total cereal production in 2004/05, including the main “gu” crop harvested last August/September, is estimated at 264 400 tonnes.

Despite the good deyr harvest, however, an estimated 500 000 people continue to experience serious food insecurity and high malnutrition rates due to insecurity, previous high loss of livestock assets, poor rangeland conditions, high household debt and destitution. These people require immediate humanitarian assistance in the form of resource transfers and livelihood support. The FSAU has indicated a revised national cereal shortfall of about 8 000 tonnes in 2004/05 (August/July) marketing year. Further information and analysis can be accessed at: www.unsomalia.net under the FSAU web page.