Nearly 6.7 million people across Somalia face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity outcomes

Issued: September 12, 2022

Close to 1.8 million children are likely to be acutely malnourished; Famine (IPC Phase 5) is projected in two districts

12 September 2022, Mogadishu – Amid a scale-down in funded humanitarian assistance in late 2022, approximately 6.7 million people across Somalia are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity outcomes between October and December 2022. Furthermore, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is projected among agropastoral populations in Baidoa and Burhakaba districts and displaced people in Baidoa town of Bay region in southern Somalia, where malnutrition and mortality levels are already very high. These projections reflect the population still in need of urgent assistance after accounting for already planned food assistance for October to December 2022. Humanitarian needs are extremely high due to the impacts of four consecutive seasons of poor rainfall, an anticipated fifth season of below-average rainfall from October to December, and exceptionally high food prices, exacerbated by concurrent conflict/insecurity and disease outbreaks (primarily acute watery diarrhea/cholera and measles). Moreover, the nutrition situation has deteriorated across most of the country. Acute malnutrition case admissions among children under age five have continued to rise sharply. Based on the results of 29 integrated food security, nutrition and mortality surveys conducted by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and partners in May, June and July 2022 and the subsequent IPC acute malnutrition analysis conducted in August, the total estimated acute malnutrition burden for Somalia from August 2022 to July 2023 is approximately 1.8 million children. This figure represents 54.5 percent of the total population of children in Somalia and includes 513,550 children who are likely to be severely malnourished. While projections were not produced for 2023, persistent drought is expected to worsen the level of humanitarian needs during the January to March 2023 dry Jilaal season across most of Somalia.

In addition to the Famine (IPC Phase 5) projection in two districts of Bay Region, several areas in central and southern Somalia have an increased Risk of Famine through at least December 2022 if (1) the 2022 Deyr season rainfall turns out to be poorer than currently predicted, leading to more crop and livestock production failures and (2) humanitarian assistance does not reach the country’s most vulnerable populations. The areas and population groups facing an increased Risk of Famine are Hawd Pastoral of Central and Hiiraan; Addun Pastoral of Northeast and Central; Coastal Deeh Pastoral of Central; Sorghum High Potential Agropastoral of Middle Shabelle; and IDP settlements in Mogadishu, Garowe, Galkacyo, and Dollow. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute malnutrition and rising mortality levels are already occurring in these areas.

The ongoing delivery of humanitarian food assistance is currently mitigating the size of the acutely food insecure population and has likely prevented the worsening of food security and nutrition outcomes in many areas, but levels of acute food insecurity across Somalia remain high and will further deteriorate if food assistance is not scaled up and sustained. Between June and September 2022, an estimated 4.3 million people (or 26% of the total population) are still experiencing Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher) outcomes, including 121,000 people estimated to be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5), meaning they have not received sufficient food assistance to prevent food consumption gaps. Current levels of food assistance delivery have increased compared to earlier in the year, reaching an average of 3.1 million people per month between April and June 2022 and 4.5 million people per month between July and September 2022. However, based on currently available funding levels, humanitarian food assistance delivery is expected to reduce by half in November and December 2022. If humanitarian food assistance is not scaled up and sustained, then acute food insecurity and malnutrition are expected to deteriorate further and faster between October and December 2022, with approximately 6.7 million people (or 41% of the total population) expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes, including 2.2 million people that will likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and at least 300,560 people that will likely be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

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