Somalia Post-Gu 2012: Food Security and Nutrition Outlook, August to December 2012

Issued: August 31, 2012

In Somalia, 2.085 million people including populations in both rural and urban areas and including internally displaced persons (IDPs) are currently food insecure. This represents a decrease of the population in need by 17 percent compared to the estimate from six months before. Despite the decrease of the population in need, the total remains among the world’s largest. 53.7 percent of the food insecure are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in urban and rural areas, 7.9 percent are classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in urban and rural areas, and 38.4 percent are IDPs in a food security crisis. Through December, 2.12 million people are projected to be food insecure (Figures 2 and 11).

The April to June 2012 Gu rains were average in most of the northern regions and parts of the central regions (Figure 5). Rains were sporadic and light in intensity in most of the South and some parts of the central regions. Total rainfall was below the long-term mean. As a result of the delayed and unevenly distributed, April to June Gu rains, there was a substantial decline in both maize and sorghum production in southern Somalia. Total, national maize and sorghum production for the Gu is significantly below average; it is estimated as the third smallest Gu cereal harvest since 1995. In the South, an estimated area of 250,000 hectares (ha) was cultivated, but only an estimated 48 percent of the area planted was able to be harvested. In the North, the Gu and Karan season harvest takes place from October, and the current projection is that this cereal harvest will be both above the post-war (15-year) average and the five-year average (Figure 4). In Somalia, the total annual cereal production, combinging the Deyr 2011/2012 harvest in January and February with the more recent Gu harvest is estimated to be marginally above the 15-year and five-year average. Markets and some households have stocks from the 2011/2012 Deyr still available.

While the Gu rains were not sufficient for the agricultural season in rainfed areas, they did improve pasture and water availability in much of the country. Regenerated pasture and improved water availability have improved livestock body conditions to average and to above average in most pastoral livelihood zones. Not all areas experienced this regeneration though, and several areas had poorer livestock body conditions due to poor pasture and water availability including Guban pastoral and the Coastal Deeh livelihood zones. There were other pocket areas of poor pastoral conditions in both the North and the South. In most areas, milk availability at the households level improved due to kidding and lambing in March and April 2012. Cow milk availability increased due to calving in July and August. Similarly, camel calving is expected in November and December in most of southern and central pastoral areas and a few areas in the North. Across the country, livestock migration patterns have been relatively normal within movements between normal wet and dry seasonal grazing areas. However, some abnormal livestock migration has been reported from the Guban pastoral livelihood zone of Sanaag region towards the Sool plateau and the lower Nugaal Valley in the Sool region.

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