Wide-spread Emergency (IPC Phase 4) expected after third consecutive very poor season
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
April to June Gu rainfall started one to two weeks late and was 30-50 percent below average (Figure 1) and erratically distributed (Figure 2) in many parts of Somalia. In the northwest, pastoral livelihood zones in Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag received near average rainfall, but in all other areas of the northwest, rainfall was 30-50 percent below average. In the northeast, rainfall was average to above average in many areas, although ground reports indicate rainfall was well below average parts of Aluula, Iskushuban, and Eyl. In central regions, Gu rainfall was 20-60 percent below average in all areas. In southern regions, rainfall totals were well below average in Bakool, Middle Shabelle, northern Bay, and northern Lower Shabelle. In all other districts, rainfall was average, but erratically distributed across time. Hagaa rainfall, which is received in southern Bay and southern coastal districts from late June through August, began in mid-June and has so far been above average.
As a result of erratically distributed rainfall, the availability of pasture and water varies throughout the country. In the northwest, despite below-average rainfall, ground reports indicate that pasture is average in most areas, which has encouraged out-migrated livestock to return. The exception to this is in Elafweyn of Sanaag and Burao and Odweyne of Togdheer, where conditions are below average. In the northeast, pasture and water resources are available at average levels, except in Coastal Deeh and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones of Nugaal, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zone of Mudug, where ground reports indicate poorer than normal pasture. Ground information also reports that water sources were only partially refilled in Northern Inland Pastoral and Hawd Pastoral livelihood zones of Eyl, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zone of Jariiban. In central regions, conditions are normal in Dhusamareeb and Abuduwaq, but significantly below average in all other areas. In southern regions, pasture and water resources are average in most of Bay, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, southern Gedo, and Southern Inland Pastoral of Hiraan.
With water available in most reservoirs, water prices have declined. Between February and May, the price of a 20-liter jerry can of water decreased approximately 33 percent in the northeast, 18 percent in central regions, and 48 percent in the northwest. In southern regions, the price declined around 45 percent in Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Bakool, and Bay, but remained stable in all other regions.
Extremely poor livestock body conditions were observed in most areas of the country during the post-Jilaal assessment in April (Figure 3), but have improved in June due to increased access to pasture and water (Figure 4). Livestock body conditions are near normal in Bay, Bari, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, Awdal, Nugal, Sool, and most parts of Todgheer, Wooqoyi Galbeed, and Hiraan. Livestock body conditions have improved less significantly, and remain somewhat below average, in Bakool, Gedo, Galgaduud, Mudug, and Middle Shabelle. Most pastoralists are pursing normal seasonal migration patterns, moving short distances within their livelihood zones.
Due to atypical livestock deaths and distress selling, low to no conception during the 2016/2017 Deyr season, and high off-take during the 2017 Jilaal, herd sizes have declined 30-60 percent from baseline levels in many areas. Conception during the 2017 Gu season was also lower than normal in most regions, and most areas reported medium to low conception.
The area planted for the 2017 Gu season was below average due to poor early-season rainfall, and the erratic distribution of rainfall throughout the season negatively affected crop development. In key sorghum-producing regions of Bay and Bakool, pests destroyed some crops and other crops wilted during a long dry spell in late May/early June. However, above-average Hagaa rainfall in Bay since mid-June has led to improvements and most remaining crops in Bay are at the flowering stage. In Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle, more than half of the crops planted in April wilted during the long dry spell and were replanted in May. Crops are in poor condition in the Sorghum High Potential livelihood zone of Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle and agropastoral areas of Lower Juba. The exception to this is in Jamame District where late-season rainfall encouraged farmers to resume planting and crops are currently at the vegetative stage. The poorest cropping conditions were observed in agropastoral areas of Hiiraan, Gedo, Bakool, Lower Juba, and the Cowpea Belt, where a significant proportion of crops wilted due to moisture stress. No major river flooding occurred in riverine areas during the Gu season and, as a result, little to no off-season cultivation has occurred.
Conversely, cropping conditions are relatively normal in Middle Juba and Northwest Agroastoral livelihood zone. In Middle Juba, planting and rainfall were near average and an estimated 80 percent of sorghum, maize, and cash crops are in fair condition. In Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zone, the only production area in the north, around 48,200 hectares were planted, a typical amount for this livelihood zone, and crops are in the vegetative or flowering stage (Figure 5).
As a result of very poor production in 2016/17, local staple cereal supply is below average. Between January and May, imports of sorghum and maize from Ethiopia (3,994 tons) were 37 percent higher than the same time last year, driven by below-average supply and relatively higher prices in Somalia. The contribution of these imports to total supply is relatively low, though, and sorghum and maize prices remain well above average as a result of below-average local supply.
In May, the retail price of a kilogram of red sorghum in Baidoa was 130 percent higher than both last year and the five-year average, while the price of a kilogram of white maize in Qoryoley was 45 percent higher than last year and 36 percent above the five-year average (Figure 5). Although prices in most markets seasonally increase during the lean season, staple food prices in these main production regions decreased slightly between April and May as traders released remaining stocks to the markets. To a less significant degree, prices are also above average in the cereal-producing areas of Awdal, Waqooyi Galbeed, and Togdheer, due to below-average 2016 Karan production. The retail price of a kilogram of sorghum in these regions in May was, on average, 14 percent above last year and 27 percent above the five-year average.
The prices of imported commodities remain generally stable. Compared to average, the retail price of a kilogram of rice in May was similar to the five-year average in Juba and the Sorghum Belt, 5-15 percent below average in the Maize Belt and northeastern regions, and 5-20 percent above average in central and northwestern regions.
Livestock prices have increased in recent months as body conditions improve, but prices remain below average in some northeastern, southern, and central regions. In May, the price of a local quality goat was approximately 20 percent below the five-year average in the Sorghum Belt, Middle Juba, and Lower Juba. The price of a local quality goat was 6 percent below average in the northeast and 15 percent below average in central areas. Goat prices are stable with the five-year average in Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, and Banaadir, and roughly 25 percent above average in the northwest. In southern areas, as a result of below average livestock prices and/or above-average cereal prices, household purchasing capacity is well below normal: The goat-to-cereal terms of trade (ToT) are between 25-60 percent below average. In central and northern areas, ToT are relatively better despite below-average livestock prices due to low and stable rice prices, the main staple consumed in these regions.
The number of conflict-related incidents between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and insurgents has increased in southern and central regions compared to recent years, most notably in Mogadishu. In Hiraan, Bay, and Bakool, the delivery of assistance and traded goods to rural areas are occasionally restricted. In Lower Juba, Middle Juba, Bay, and Bakool, roadside bombs and armed clashes between militants and Government forces, backed by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), have been frequently reported in 2017. In Hiraan and Lower Shabelle, clan conflicts disrupted pastoral movement and Gu crop cultivation in some areas. In Afgoye and Merka, some farmers were forced to abandon their fields as a result of conflict.
In January, FEWS NET and FSNAU released a joint statement on deteriorating food security in Somalia and the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in a worst-case scenario. In response, humanitarian organizations significantly increased the size and reach of emergency assistance. Between April and June, around 2.5 million people were reached with emergency humanitarian assistance monthly, a six-fold increase from the roughly 500,000 reached in January (Figure 7).
Internal displacement continues in Somalia, although the monthly rate of displacement has slowed in recent months compared to late 2016 and early 2017. According to the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), 46,000 drought-driven displacements were recorded in May, and 22,000 were reported between June 1 and 23. Of the displacements in June, 13,500 arrived in Baidoa town from rural areas of Bay and Bakool. Although some displaced persons in Baidoa are returning to their places of origin to engage in agricultural activities, the number is relatively small: an estimated 16,300 people returned in June. Overall, nearly 761,000 people have been displaced since November 2016 as a result of drought (Figure 8).
‘Critical’ levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM) are present in most areas, driven by lower than normal food access, increased waterborne illness during the rainy season, and poor access to health services. SMART surveys conducted by Concern, Save the Children, and ACF in May/June in Afgoye of Lower Shabelle, Baidoa of Bay, El Barde of Bakool, Wanlaweyn of Lower Shabelle, and Mogadishu, reported ‘Critical’ (>15%) levels of GAM (WHZ). In El Barde of Bakool, the GAM (WHZ) prevalence was 30.7 percent (26.0-35.8) and the SAM (WHZ) was 8.3% (6.0-11.4), a very high and concerning prevalence. Additional SMART surveys conducted by FSNAU in June also indicate ‘Critical’ levels of acute malnutrition in 9 out of 12 IDP settlements. High disease incidence is contributing to acute malnutrition. Between January 1 and June 18 over 53,000 cases of cholera and 10,000 cases of measles have been reported.
In central and northeastern pastoral areas, food insecurity remains severe and households face food consumption gaps. Rice prices are stable and ToT are near average, but pastoralists have few saleable livestock after losing a large proportion of their herd to death and distress selling. In addition to limited income from livestock sales, households also lack access to typical levels of milk given that few to no births took place during the Gu season. Of greatest concern are Northern Inland Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones, where large-scale humanitarian assistance is mitigating more extreme outcomes and Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) exists. Food security is slightly better in pastoral areas of the south, where households lost fewer livestock and have greater access to income to purchase cereal. Humanitarian assistance is also significant in many of these areas, helping to maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. The exception to this is Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone in Bakool, where large-scale livestock losses did occur and households face difficulty selling sufficient livestock to meet their basic needs, and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) in the presence of humanitarian assistance.
In agropastoral areas, poor households experienced two consecutive poor production seasons in 2016 and now face a third below-average season. With no household food stocks, households are relying primarily on markets to access food, but agricultural labor opportunities, the key source of income in many areas, were much lower than normal during the poor Gu season. Furthermore, purchasing power is well below average. Most areas are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), but Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes exist in areas where large-scale humanitarian assistance is ongoing. Of greatest concern are Bay and Bakool, where large-scale humanitarian assistance is mitigating more extreme outcomes, but many poor households in in accessible, rural areas remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Also of concern are agropastoral areas of Hiraan and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zone in Lower Shabelle, where clan conflicts and erratically distributed rainfall both caused crop destruction and lowered agricultural labor opportunities. These livelihood zones are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
The June 2017 to January 2018 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- July to August Hagaa rainfall in Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Juba, and southern Bay is forecast to be average. The July to September Karan rainy season in northwestern Somalia is also forecast to be average.
- The June to September Hagaa season is expected to drier than usual in most of the country and water and pasture will deplete faster than normal. The exception to this is in isolated areas of the north and south.
- ENSO conditions are currently neutral. The IRI/CPC ENSO forecast as of early June indicates the most-likely scenario is for neutral conditions through early 2018, with positive Sea Surface Temperature anomalies in the central and eastern Pacific beginning to decrease through mid to late 2017.The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is forecast to be positive through at least September 2017 according to the majority of climate forecasting centers. The October to December Deyr rains are forecast to be above average as a result of the likelihood of a positive IOD event.
Crop production and agricultural labor:
- Due to below-average and erratic Gu rainfall, national Gu production is estimated to be 50-60 percent of average. Although crop conditions are favorable in Northwest Agropastoral, production is likely to be below normal as some standing crops will be sold as fodder. The only areas where production is expected to be average are Southern Rainfed Agropastoral and Riverine Gravity Irrigation livelihood zones in Middle Juba.
- Farmers in southern agropastoral areas are likely to put an above-average area of land under cultivation for the 2017 Deyr season and will rely on kinship and loans to access seeds for planting.
- Agricultural labor opportunities will be available in Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Juba, and southern Bay during the Hagaa rainy season, but overall opportunities will be below average given current cropping conditions.
- Agricultural labor opportunities are expected to be available at average to above average levels during the Deyr season, but will be available later than normal in riverine areas of Lower and Middle Shabelle and Lower and Middle Juba due to likely flooding from above-average rainfall that will delay agricultural activities.
- Livestock body conditions are expected to improve through July in all areas, but will remain below average through October in Gedo, Bakool, Hiraan, Galgaduud, Mudug, and isolated areas of the north. Livestock body conditions in all areas are expected to improve in November and be normal thorough January, due to forecast average to above-average Deyr rains, which will lead to normal pasture and water availability.
- Shoat herd sizes are expected to increase slightly during the Deyr season, due to low to medium conception during the Gu season. Medium cattle calving is likely in January in the South. Very few camel births are expected during the outlook period due low conception during the 2016 Deyr and high abortion rates during the 2017 Jilaal. As a result, little to no milk is expected to be available to poor households until the Deyr season when goats give birth. Even during this time, milk available will be below average as the number of livestock giving birth will be lower than normal.
Markets and Trade:
- Due to below-average 2016/17 production and likely below-average Gu 2017 production, domestic staple cereal supply is expected to be below average throughout 2017.
- Wheat and rice imports are expected to be above average and help address the domestic staple food supply deficit, and prices are expected to remain stable. However, wheat and rice prices are above local staple cereal prices and are not the preferred staple of southern areas. From October to December, trade flows of imported goods to inland markets will be seasonally low as above-average rainfall will restrict movement on roads.
- Maize and sorghum prices are expected to follow seasonal trends, but remain well above 2016 and the five-year average due to expected below-average Gu production. Prices are unlikely to approach levels seen in 2011, though, due primarily to the large-scale influx of humanitarian assistance.
- Livestock conditions and prices are likely to improve through September due to demand during Ramadan and Hajj. Prices are expected to remain below average in the above mentioned places where livestock body conditions are likely to be poorer than normal. Prices will seasonally decline from October to January, but be near average in all areas due to improved livestock body conditions.
- According to the Food Security Cluster, humanitarian actors plan to reach over 3.2 million people in July with emergency in-kind or cash/voucher assistance, with similar targeting as was observed between March and June (Figure 9), although it is important to note that in southern areas assistance has not reached many rural areas. Although additional funding has been committed, specific funding levels and plans for location of assistance from August 2017 to January 2018 are unknown. Without this information, the most likely scenario assumes the absence of humanitarian assistance. In the event that assistance continues throughout 2017, it is expected access will remain limited in Middle Juba, Rab Dhure and Tieglo of Bakool, El Bur and El Der of Galgadud, Hardadere of Mudug, Jalalaqsi of Hiraan, Jimame of Lower Juba, Bur Hakaba and Qansah Dere of Bay, and Brava, Kurtun Warrey, Qorioley, and Marka of Lower Shabelle.
- AMISOM and Government troops are expected to continue ongoing operations to take control of major towns in central and southern Somalia. Conflict-related incidents are likely and expected to result in the loss of life and livelihood assets, occasionally restrict humanitarian access, cause displacement, and disrupt trade and population movement.
Displacement and migration
- Some agropastoral households who are currently in IDP camps will return to their place of origin in July for the harvest, but additional displacements are still expected through at least October given the poor performance of the Gu season. The monthly rate of displacement is expected to be much lower than that observed in late 2016 and early 2017, though. Pastoralists who are currently in displacement camps are likely remain in the camps for two to three seasons until their remaining livestock, currently with better-off relatives, have increased to sustainable levels.
- In areas of concern, the prevalence of GAM (WHZ) is expected to increase atypically through September in most of Somalia as a result of high incidence of diseases and lower than normal food access, and remain at ‘Critical’ levels.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
It was estimated 3.2 million people were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and in need of emergency humanitarian assistance between April and June 2017. Between August and December 2017, it is estimated 2.5 to 3 million people will remain in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, although the post-Gu assessment is ongoing and an updated estimate based on new data will be available in August. In the event that there is significant interruption to current food assistance programs, prices rise significantly and further lower household food access, and a lack of effective response to ongoing disease outbreaks, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible, and agropastoral areas of Bay and Bakool are of highest concern.
Between June and September, access to food and income is expected to be similar to the current situation in pastoral areas. Expected rice and livestock prices will support normal ToT, but pastoralists will have few saleable livestock to sell to purchase food. Milk will also be largely unavailable to poor households. In the absence of humanitarian assistance, poor households will rely heavily on credit to purchase food and food consumption gaps would be expected. Northern Inland Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, Addun Pastoral, and Southern Inland Pastoral of Bakool are expected to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Slightly less extreme outcomes are expected in Guban Pastoral, East Golis Pastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral, and Southern Inland Pastoral of Gedo, where livestock herd sizes are slightly greater, but field reports indicate poor households are selling breeding livestock to meet food needs, leading to the accelerated depletion of livelihood assets. In Southern Inland Pastoral of Lower and Middle Juba and Lower and Middle Shabelle, Juba Pastoral, and West Golis Pastoral, livestock losses were less significant and households are expected to be able to meet their basic food needs through typical livestock sales, although they will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), as above-average cereal prices are lowering household food access.
Between October and January, Southern Inland Pastoral of Lower and Middle Juba and Lower and Middle Shabelle and West Golis Pastoral will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1), as livestock births in these areas support increased milk consumption and increased livestock sales, allowing pastoralist to meet their basic food needs. Pastoral livelihood zones currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as limited livestock births are expected during the Deyr season, which will keep milk availability relatively low and limit livestock sales. In Northern Inland Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected to persist. Herd sizes among these pastoralists will have increased only slightly with some births during the Deyr season, but livestock sales during this time will be used primarily to repay the large debts accrued in late 2016 and early 2017. In the absence of humanitarian assistance, households would continue to face significant food consumption gaps.
From June to September in southern agricultural and agropastoral areas, food security is expected to remain severe or further deteriorate. Gu production is likely to be well below average and poor households food stocks will last only 1-2 months, and even less in Bakool, Hiraan, and Lower Juba. Given lower than normal agricultural labor opportunities, households will remain unable to purchase sufficient food to meet their basic needs. In the absence of humanitarian assistance, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is likely in most areas, and in areas of greatest concern including Southern Agropastoral of Gedo and Hiraan, Southern Rainfed Agropastoral of Lower Shabelle, and Bay and Bakool, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely. In the event that there is significant interruption to current food assistance programs and a lack of effective response to ongoing disease outbreaks, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible, and of greatest concern are Bay and Bakool. Conversely, in Middle Juba and Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zone, food security is expected to improve as a result increased access to milk, income from crop sales, and access to own production; Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will persist, with some poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In Middle Juba, the Gu harvest will be near average, but many poor households will sell a significant proportion of their harvest to repay debts accrued during the last two seasons and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely.
Between October and January, food security is expected to improve in all agricultural and agropastoral areas as labor opportunities are available at average to above-average levels. In Northwestern Agropastoral, food security will further improve with the Karan harvest, but overall, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes will persist. In southern agricultural areas, food security will improve with increased food access from agricultural labor opportunities, but prices are expected to remain above average, constraining food access. The Deyr harvest will not be available until the end of the outlook period, and food security will not improve significantly until the arrival of the harvest. Of greatest concern are agropastoral areas of Bay and Bakool where households are expected to have few sources of food and income outside of agricultural labor opportunities, and will need to continue repaying large debts. Similar conditions are expected in the Southern Rainfed Agropastral livelihood zone of Lower Shabelle and Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone of Bakool, Gedo, and Hiraan. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected in these areas.
For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.
About Scenario Development
To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming six months. Learn more here.
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