In the past
Across Somalia, 6.2 million people face acute food insecurity through June 2017. Compared to projections made six months ago, the people most at risk of hunger in IPC Phases 3 and 4 more than doubled to 2 912 000. Among them, those on the brink of Famine in IPC Phase 4 increased twenty-fold to 439 000 people.
Most of this massive, accelerated increase in food insecure people occurred in rural areas. According to the latest projections, rural people make up 65 percent of the population in IPC Phases 3 and 4, and 87 percent of those in IPC 4. The latter represents a 25-fold increase, from 15 000 people (August-December 2016) to 380 000 people (February-June 2017).
Famine starts in rural areas and must be prevented in rural areas. The risks are highest in Somalia’s southern breadbasket and northeastern pastoral areas.
In 2016, farmers suffered an entire year of severe food and income loss. This included a 50 percent reduced Gu cereal harvest mid-year, compounded by a 70 percent reduced Deyr harvest at year-end. The low production also left farmers without seeds to plant, cut wage labour income, and increased food and water prices.
In northern pastoral areas, where families rely entirely on livestock to survive, total livestock losses and destitution are reported. Across the country, livestock are weak, supplying less milk and meat, and worth increasingly less when sold or traded for other food items, such as cereals.
Livelihoods are people’s best defence against famine in rural areas. FAO is helping the most food insecure rural families meet their immediate food needs, while giving them the means to continue farming their land, raising their animals and producing the food they need to survive this crisis.