FSNAU-FEWS NET 2017 Post Gu Technical

IPC Food Security Situation Overview, FSNAU

With 3.1 million people facing crisis and emergency, acute food insecurity persists in Somalia

Acute malnutrition increases and risk of famine continues 

An estimated 3.1 million people, 25 percent of the population, are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through December. The Gu (April-June) cereal harvest was far below average, prices of local cereal remain well above average, and substantial livestock losses have occurred, all of which have lowered household access to food and income. Persistent drought has led to large-scale population displacement. Deyr (October-December) rains are expected to be average to below average, but levels of acute food insecurity in Somalia will remain high through the end of the year. Acute and widespread food insecurity and increased morbidity have contributed to further deterioration of the overall nutrition situation in Somalia. Scaled up humanitarian assistance must be sustained in order to prevent further deterioration of food security and nutrition situation of the affected population. A risk of Famine continues through the end of the year in the worst affected areas: in a worst-case scenario where there is a significant interruption to current food assistance programs and higher prices further decrease household food access. Areas of greatest concern include the northeast and some IDP populations.

The 2017 Gu rains started late, ended early and were below average in most parts of Somalia. The Gu season cereal harvest, which is estimated at 78 400 tonnes, is 37 percent lower than the long-term (1995-2016) average. Gu/Karan cereal production in northwest Somalia is estimated at 6 500 tonnes, 87 percent lower than the 2010-2016 average. As a result, poor households in crop-dependent livelihood zones of the northwest and southern Somalia have little or no food stocks. Farm labor opportunities were also limited. In pastoral areas affected by protracted and persistent drought, livestock production and reproduction have declined sharply. Depletion of livestock assets due to distress sales and mortality has contributed to increased indebtedness and destitution among many pastoralists. As a result, most rural livelihood zones of Somalia are classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

Findings from a seasonal assessment conducted across Somalia in June and July 2017 indicate that over 3.1 million people will face Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4)1 through December 2017. This represents only a slight improvement in food security compared to the figures projected for April-June 2017, primarily as a result of sustained humanitarian assistance and improved rainfall in localized areas. Additionally, nearly 3.1 million people are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In total, 6.2 million people across Somalia face acute food insecurity. This seasonal assessment was jointly led by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU, a project managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET, a project funded by USAID) and carried out with the active participation of Government institutions and other partners.

The overall nutrition situation in Somalia has continued to deteriorate, especially in northern and central parts of Somalia. Results from 31 separate nutrition surveys conducted FSNAU and partners between June and July 2017 indicate that an estimated 388 000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, including 87 000 who are severely malnourished and face an increased risk of morbidity and death. In two-thirds of the 31 nutrition surveys conducted, Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence were considered Critical (15-30%) or Very Critical (>30%). In one-thirds of the surveys, Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was also considered Critical (≥4.0-5.6%) or Very Critical (>5.6%). Morbidity rates are at least 20 percent or higher in more than half of the surveyed populations, contributing to the reported high levels of acute malnutrition in most of these populations. Mortality rates have also increased. Crude Death Rates (CDR) and/or Under-Five Death Rate (U5DR) have surpassed emergency thresholds in seven of the population groups surveyed (i.e. CDR > 1/10 000/day and U5DR > 2/10 000/day, respectively).

Over 701 500 people were displaced due to drought in the first half of 2017. With limited livelihood and coping options and poor living conditions, exacerbated by recent large-scale displacement due to drought, food security and nutrition outcomes across most of the 13 main settlements for internally displaced persons (IDPs) indicated a deterioration. Accordingly, most of the IDP settlements are classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Impacted by high food prices, increased completion from displaced populations and localized trade disruptions, poor households in some of the major urban areas of the country face acute food security Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 

A large-scale humanitarian intervention has taken place in the first half of 2017 in response to the ongoing drought. According to the Somalia Food Security Cluster, emergency humanitarian assistance is reaching roughly 2.5 million people a month since April. Results from the post-Gu analysis indicated that humanitarian assistance is preventing further deterioration in many areas and is having a significant impact in several northeastern areas.

To read the full report, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Chi Lael, Communications Officer, FAO Somalia, [email protected]

Marie Maroun, Communications Officer, Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), [email protected]