Quarterly Brief - Focus on Post-Deyr 2016 Season Early Warning

Issued: December 29, 2016


As a result of the prolonged harsh Hagaa (July – September), followed by delayed and significantly below average Deyr  (October–December) rains in many parts of Somalia, food security of poor pastoral households has deteriorated since July 2016 (Maps 4 and 5). Particularly, the acute food security Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) of Bari and Nugaal regions deepened and expanded to NIP of Sool and Sanaag Regions which was previously classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Similarly, Hawd pastoral of Woqoyi Galbed, Togdheer and Sool regions, and Southern Inland pastoral of Juba also deteriorated from Minimal (IPC Phase 1) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Acute food insecurity will persist in most parts of Somalia while further deterioration is expected in many parts of the country. As a result, moderate to large increases in the overall number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) are expected through the first half of 2017. Although many areas will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), several others will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

As a result of sustained moisture stress less than 40 percent of total planted area is expected to be harvested from all southern Somalia cereal producing regions. Well below-average to poor crop production is expected in the main cereal producing regions of Lower Shabelle and Bay which normally account for over two-thirds of the Deyr  cereal production in southern Somalia, largely because of below average to poor Deyr  rains. Similarly, domestic production of cereals is expected to be well-below average to poor despite above average Gu-Karan harvest in the northwest. FSNAU preliminary estimate indicates that overall Deyr  2016/17 cereal production is expected to be 60-70 percent below the five year average (2011-2015) and 50-60 percent below the long-term/Post-War average (1995-2015). Continued and further deterioration in food security conditions are expected through the first half of 2017 in most of the agro-pastoral areas in south-central and parts of the pastoral areas in the north and central regions of Somalia.

Since August 2016, water trucking has been widespread in most of the Berkad dependent pastoral livelihoods in northern Somalia (NIP, Hawd, Addun, East Golis and Togdher agropastoral) and central regions (Hawd and Addun livelihood zones), as most surface water catchments did not replenished well. Livestock body conditions are largely below average to poor (PET Score 2-1), owing to poor pasture, water crisis, limited migration option and drought induced diseases According to field reports from NIP, there is high livestock offtake (death and distress sell). Most animals are concentrated near permanent water points, where large number of livestock carcasses are observable. Livestock holding of all wealth groups have reduced in most livelihoods in the north and parts of southern Somalia. Significant livestock loss has been reported in NIP livelihood and further decline is expected through Jilaal (January-March).

Generally, livestock reproduction is expected to diminish for all species. Herd growth and milk production are in declining trend due to successive poor seasons, prolonged Hagaa (July-September) and failure of Deyr  rains. Livestock abortion owing to poor feeding, disease, culling and death of offspring, lactating and weak animal compounded high off take. Consequently, pastoral dropout and destitution reported in large parts of NIP in Bari, Nugal, Sanag and and Sool regions. During Jilaal extreme pasture and water shortages could be expected in large parts of north and central regions as well parts of southern Somalia particularly Gedo, Bakool, Hiran, Middle Shabelle and along the coast from south to north.

Finding from the 2016 Post Deyr  nutrition assessment indicate Critical levels of Global Acute Malnutrition-GAM (≥15 %) in five out of 12 IDP populations surveyed. These are Mogadishu and Dhusamareb IDPs in south-central region and Bossaso, Garowe and Qardho in northeast region. Despite some improvements in the nutrition situation (GAM) among IDPs in Dolow, Dhobley, Baidoa, Kismayo and Berbera, rapid deteriorations wee noted since July 2016 among Mogadishu IDPs (14.7% to 16.6 %) Dhusamreb IDPs (10.1 % to 26.4 %) in south-central region and Qardho IDPs (12.6 % to 15.2 %) in northeast region.

The worsening nutrition situation among Mogadishu, Dhusamareeb and Qardho is partly linked to limited access to humanitarian interventions, unstable casual labour for income to purchase food, high morbidity, low immunization coverage, continuous arrival of new IDPs and on-going evictions particularly among Mogadishu IDPs. Nutrition interventions should be prioritized to displaced population and accompanied by efforts to reduce high morbidity and improving health services. Across the 12 IDPs surveyed in Somalia the Deyr  2016 assessments identified a total of 18 450 acutely malnourished children which include 4 200 who are severely malnourished.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban households, measured through the changes in the cost of items in the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB), exhibited slight increases (1-6%) across the country over the last five months (July-November). This reflects the increase in the local currency prices of the key commodities that make up the bulk of the consumer basket such as cereals (red sorghum) and sugar. The anticipated poor Deyr  harvest (January-February 2017) is likely to exert a further upward pressure on the cost of living until the next harvest in July/August 2017. This trend could be exacerbated by security conditions, particularly in southern parts of the country. Trade disruptions due to insecurity continued in some urban areas of Bakool (Huddur and Wajid districts) and Hiran (Bulo Burto district) where access roads remain under insurgent control. Cereal price trends in the subsequent period (April-June 2017) will be influenced by such factors as the 2017 Gu rainfall performance, which is yet uncertain, as well as humanitarian relief interventions. Continued humanitarian interventions and early actions are necessary at least up to mid-2017 in order to address the rising level of acute food insecurity in Somalia.

Click this link to access the full Update in pdf format: FSNAU Quarterly Brief, December 2016