Post Gu 2012 Nutrition Analysis Technical Report

Issued: September 26, 2012

A significant scale-up of emergency response since September/October 2011, in combination with the off season harvest  and the Deyr (October-December) 2011 harvest has had a considerable impact on improving food access, acute malnutrition, and mortality levels in the southern  Somali population. As a result, famine outcomes characterized by evidence of of all three of the following outcomes, based on the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) version 2.0, are no longer existent in Southern Somalia:

  • at least 20 percent of households face extreme food deficits.
  • acute malnutrition prevalence exceeds 30%.
  • mortality rates exceed 2 deaths per 10,000 population perday.

In northern and central regions, most areas also have benefited from the good rains which has led to improved pasture conditions and purchasing power for pastoralist households, with the exception of coastal pastoral populations who remain in Emergency.  Disease outbreaks which exacerbated a Very Critical situation in the West Golis and Nugal Valley pastoral livelihood zones in the Gu (April-June) 2011, have also been controlled. However with the exception of Hargeisa IDPs, IDPs in the north and central regions remain vulnerable and in Critical-Very Critical nutrition phases, attributed to poor access to food and health care support as a result of limited income opportunities.

From October-December 2011, FSNAU and partners conducted 36 representative nutrition surveys in Somalia, assessing rural, urban and internally displaced populations  (IDPs). Of these, 9 were done in the south; 2 in central rural livelihood zones; 8 in northwest and northeast rural pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones; 8 in IDPs in the north and central regions; and 8 in the urban livelihood zones in the north.  Due to security restrictions, updated nutrition and mortality data was not collected in December 2011 in Southern Somalia apart from the IDP and urban population in Mogadishu. However, indirect information on nutrition trends at health centers and feeding programmes was collected.

Analysis of the findings indicates significant improvements in the nutrition situation in the north, and parts of the  south since the August 2011 (Maps 1 & 2).  The December 2011 survey findings for Mogadishu urban, and IDPs, with  GAM rates of 20-22%, reflect an improvement from the famine rates in October 2011 in Mogadishu IDPs. However for Mogadishu urban, the situation is stable when compared to the  October 2011 survey findings with the GAM rate in the range of 15-20%, and the same rate of SAM 6.4% (4.5-9.0), and the April 2011 survey findings with a GAM rate of 15.2% (10.9-20.7) and a SAM rate of 1.7% (0.9-3.1).  The October 2011 survey findings for Juba riverine, Bay and Middle Shabelle Agropastoral livelihood zones indicate that global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates in these areas remain above the famine threshold of > 30%; though crude death rates (CDR) reflect a decline since August 2011.  In the Mogadishu and Kismayo IDPs, based on the December and October 2011 survey findings respectively, CDR has declined but remains at the famine threshold of 2 deaths per 10,000 per day, highlighting the continued impacts of the 2011 famine and civil insecurity. Integrated analysis of the nutrition data from health facilities and selective feeding programs in Hiran, Bakool, Gedo and Lower Shabelle where surveys could not be conducted in December 2011 due to poor access, indicate a likely Very Critical situation, but likely with a decline in acute malnutrition rates from the peak of the famine in July/  August 2011 when the nutrition situation  was appalling, with GAM rates well exceeding the famine threshold of 30% throughout the south, and SAM rates in the range of 5.9-29.8%.

In the north, with the exception of the Hawd of Central, acute malnutrition rates have declined to seasonal levels, while death rates are within acceptable range based on the UNICEF 2005 classification. The Hawd experienced an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera and elevated malaria  in the October – November season, which may have contributed to the elevated GAM of 18.6% (14.5-23.4) and the SAM rate of 5.5% (4.0-7.4) (Figure 1).

Based on this analysis, at national level, an estimated 323,000 ( 22% of the 1.5 million) Somali children are acutely malnourished currently, and in need of specialized nutrition treatment services. Of the 323, 000 malnourished children, 93,000  (6% of the 1.5million Somali children)  are severely malnourished.

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