SOMALIA Food Security Outlook: October 2017 to May 2018

Issued: November 10, 2017
  • Food security needs are nearly double the five-year average in Somalia, with an estimated 2,444,000 people currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 866,000 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Widespread food insecurity is driven by three consecutive poor seasons that led to well below-average production and large-scale livestock losses, which have reduced household access to food and income. Sustained humanitarian assistance has prevented more extreme outcomes in many areas, though persistent drought threatens recovery of normal livelihoods, and further deterioration in food security is likely through May 2018.
  • Rainfall in October, the start and peak month of the Deyr season, was erratically distributed and approximately 50 percent below average in most areas. Rainfall in November and December is not expected to significantly improve crop prospects. Furthermore, a below-average April to June 2018 Gu season is likely, and if this forecast comes to fruition it will mark the fifth consecutive poor season in Somalia. Below-average production and limited regeneration of pasture and water is expected throughout the outlook period.
  • Humanitarian assistance plans beyond January 2018 are not yet known and while humanitarians plan to reach 3.2 million people a month through January, funding is insufficient to fully implement these plans. Critical levels of acute food insecurity already exist and data show outcomes can deteriorate sharply following poor seasons, in the absence of assistance. Even in a scenario of continued assistance at current levels, Famine (IPC Phase 5) remains possible. In a worst-case scenario of very poor Deyr rainfall through December and the protracted absence of assistance, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely. Large-scale assistance is needed throughout 2018 to prevent the loss of lives and collapse of livelihoods.

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