Quarterly Brief - Focus on Post Gu Season Early Warning

Issued: June 20, 2013

Based on the results of the rapid preliminary Gu season field assessment carried out in May-June 2013 and continuous monitoring of food security and nutrition situation, Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) projects that most rural livelihoods will be classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) based on the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) severity scale of acute food insecurity in the post Gu period (July-December 2013). However, some deterioration of the food security situation is expected in Hiran Agropastoral and flood affected riverine areas in Jowhar (Middle Shabelle). A slight deterioration is also likely in parts of pastoral livelihoods in Mudug and Bari regions (Coastal Deeh, Sool Plateau and Dharor valley). The deterioration in these areas is mostly attributable to poor performance of Gu rains, which affected pasture availability and crop performance. However, livestock migration options exist given overall good rainfall performance in most areas, which may alleviate the situation in the pastoral livelihoods. Conversely, poor households’ access to food in Hiran Agropastoral will be affected by a likely poor crop harvest.

Malnutrition trends obtained through FSNAU Health Information System indicate stable or improved situation in southern Somalia and in Northwest but a deteriorated situation in Hawd livelihood of Central and Northeast regions. However, existing aggravating factors such as diarrhoea, malaria and cholera (South), can easily worsen the nutrition situation. In the past year, the nutrition situation has been gradually improving mostly due to the improved food security situation in the country.

Gu cereal crop production is expected to be below average, mostly due to likely lower than normal cereal production in major crop producing regions of Lower Shabelle and Bay. Gu rains started slightly earlier than usual (in late March), and were of moderate to above average intensity in the beginning of the rainy season. However, flash and river floods in April-May, early cessation of the long rainy season, insect infestation and prolific weeds in the agricultural areas of Somalia will likely lead to below average crop harvest. In Lower Shabelle, the expected below average cereal crop production is also due to increased cultivation of more profitable sesame compared to maize in this Gu season. Nevertheless, projected average Hagaa rains, which normally precipitate in coastal areas of Juba and Shabelle regions and often reach parts of Bay region, will increase off-season crop harvest opportunity and is likely to bring the overall Gu cereal production to near average. The anticipated average Karan rains will facilitate the normal proceeding of the planting season in the Northwest with the major harvest (Gu-Karan) to be collected in November.

In the context of existing cereal production outlook, normal port functioning and continued humanitarian access, the cereal price movements are likely to exhibit seasonal fluctuations. This trend is unlikely to have major impact on the purchasing power of market dependent populations, including urban, internally displaced persons and pastoralists.

Most pastoral livelihoods are likely to see improvements in the food security situation due to the positive effect of Gu rains on rangeland and water conditions leading to improved milk yields of lactating animals. Pastoralists will benefit from anticipated increase in livestock sales during upcoming Ramadan (July) and Hajj (October) festivities. As a result, pastoral food security outcomes will likely improve through December, including in Guban pastoral livelihood, which is currently classified as in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The likely improvement in Guban is due to livestock recovery as a result of good off-seasonal Gu 2013 rains and ongoing humanitarian assistance. However, coastal areas of the central and northeastern regions will likely face a slight deterioration in food security due to anticipated decline in livestock production.

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