Flooding and slow recovery from drought drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse in late 2019

Issued: November 1, 2019


• Sustained, large-scale food assistance continued to play a critical role in mitigating food gaps for many poor households in October, sustaining widespread Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes in pastoral areas and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone. However, due to slow recovery from recurrent drought in central and northern pastoral areas, river flooding and flash floods in riverine and low-lying agropastoral areas, and protracted conflict and displacement, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity is expected to persist in Somalia through the end of 2019.

• Although earlier forecasts indicated an increased likelihood of above-average Deyr rainfall, rainfall in October has been exceptionally above average, leading to flooding and the displacement of an estimated 182,000 people, mainly in Beletweyn district. This is expected to delay main Deyr crop production and prolong the lean season, but flood-recession cultivation and off-season Deyr planting that occurs after flood waters recede in December are expected to be above normal. Based on historical trends, the total main and off-season Deyr cereal harvest from January to March is most likely to be above average.

• In the absence of planned and funded food assistance from November onward, food insecurity is likely to worsen in the short term. In the absence of assistance, more widespread deterioration to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is anticipated through January in northern and central pastoral areas and settlements for internally displaced persons (IDPs), due to the extended impacts of the poor 2019 Gu season rainfall and previous droughts. Food security is expected to improve in early 2020, as the October-December Deyr rains are likely to ultimately support above-average harvests and improve livestock herd sizes, which will lead to improved household food availability and access.

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