Quarterly Brief - Focus on Deyr Season Early Warning

Issued: November 13, 2012

The food security situation in all livelihoods of Somalia remains as classified during the post Gu 2012 analysis (Aug ‘12) with an estimated 2.12 million people in crisis until the end of the year. The major assumptions made in the food security situation projections in August-December 2012 have materialised. Specifically, lower than normal Gu off-season was harvested in riverine areas of southern Somalia due to poor performance of Hagaa rains. Normal to above normal Deyr rains in September-October 2012 facilitated timely start of the Deyr planting and improved pasture, water and livestock body conditions. Given the normal pace of Deyr planting, labour availability increased in farming communities in the South, benefitting poor farmers who rely on casual labour as a source of income during the lean season. Most pastoral and agropastoral households, who comprise 60 percent of Somalia's population, have improved access to milk as a result of calving (camel and cattle) and goat kidding during Hagaa and Deyr seasons. 

Food prices showed some increases in the July-October 2012 period although they remained stable in most markets. In particular, sorghum prices rose moderately between August and October as stocks have diminished as a result of poor Gu harvest in most agropastoral livelihoods of South-Central. Conversely, maize prices have declined in maize-producing regions as maize crops from Gu and off-season harvests entered the markets. Prices of essential imported commodities such as diesel, vegetable oil, rice and wheat flour have remained either stable or decreased slightly in most markets of South-Central; imported cereal prices surged in October in the North. The cost of the minimum expenditure basket remained relatively stable in the July-October period reflecting recent trends in food prices (sorghum, wheat, sugar, oil), which make up 38-48 percent of the MEB. Livestock prices exhibited increases in October in response to high demand at the time of the Hajj festivity (October) as reflected in increased livestock exports through Somali ports. 

Overall positive food security trends in most parts of Somalia would ideally lead to improved nutrition situation in the country. The situation in West Golis livelihood zone in the North, which was in Very Critical phase in the Gu 2012 likely to have improved.  Nevertheless, in the southern regions, outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera could prevent improvement in the nutrition situation, which is likely to remain Critical-Very Critical.  FSNAU is scheduled to undertake nutrition surveys across Somalia in November-December 2012 period to inform on the current nutrition situation.

The food security trends in the post-Deyr will very much depend on the performance of rains in the reminder of the current Deyr season (mid-November-December) and on humanitarian access. In the reporting period, insecurity continued to affect the food security situation in the South-Central, causing human displacements, losses of lives and livelihoods, disturbing trade flows and limiting humanitarian access. On average, 15,000 persons were internally displaced between July and September on a monthly basis with about sixty percent of the displacement on the account of insecurity. 

Most forecasts are still predicting average to slightly-above-average rains for the Deyr season, but the likelihood of rain continuing into January has decreased. Adequate rainfall in the critical stage of crop development will determine the level of the Deyr harvest. FSNAU will conduct a preliminary Deyr impact assessment at the beginning of December to produce early warning for post-Deyr seasonal outcomes.

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