Somalia Food Security Outlook Report for Feb-Sep 2022

Issued: March 28, 2022

Key Messages


·         The severity of food insecurity has rapidly worsened in Somalia since the start of the dry season in January. Intensifying drought has caused acute water shortages, the loss of livestock essential to Somalia’s pastoral and agropastoral livelihood systems, and escalating staple food prices, exacerbated by ongoing conflict and global supply shocks. The deyr harvest in January was the third lowest on the 25-year record, and field information suggests households have many households face widening food consumption gaps and the erosion of their coping capacity, leading to a surge in displacement. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are widespread, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely already occurring in central Somalia, and acute malnutrition is already at Critical levels in many areas of southern and central Somalia.


·         The severity of acute food insecurity is expected to worsen and remain elevated through September. Prevailing La Niña conditions, which typically bring below-average rainfall to the eastern Horn of Africa, are most likely to result in a historic, fourth consecutive below-average rainfall season in April-June 2022, according to FEWS NET’s partners at the NOAA, Climate Hazards Center, and USGS. Many households have a limited capacity to cope with another poor harvest and livestock reproduction cycle. FEWS NET and FSNAU anticipate 4-5 million people in Somalia (25-30 percent of the population) will need humanitarian food assistance to prevent Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes this year, inclusive of up to 1.0-1.5 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The areas of highest concern include Hawd Pastoral, Bay Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral, Addun Pastoral, Southern Agropastoral, and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones, where Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected.


·         Although humanitarian food assistance reached 10-15 percent of the Somali population monthly throughout 2021, the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan is only 3.8 percent funded and the Somalia Food Security Cluster anticipates pipeline breaks to food assistance will occur by May or earlier. Field reports already indicate that current levels of food and water assistance are quickly being outpaced by the rapid increase in the size of the food insecure population, widening of household food consumption gaps, loss of livelihood assets, and worsening acute malnutrition levels. Food, water, and nutrition assistance must be scaled up and sustained throughout 2022 to save lives and rebuild livelihoods.


·         FEWS NET and FSNAU assess that Somalia faces a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in 2022. Based on median rainfall anomalies in years with similar La Niña conditions, the 2022 gu rains are currently expected to be moderately below average. However, in an alternative scenario in which the gu rains fail, purchasing power declines to record lows, and food assistance does not reach areas of high concern, Famine (IPC Phase 5) could occur in mid-2022. Past trends demonstrate the potential for multi-season droughts to lead to famine in Somalia, such as in 2011-2012 when an estimated 260,000 people died of hunger-related causes. Timely humanitarian action prevented more extreme outcomes during the last multi-season drought in 2017. Sustained humanitarian assistance, alongside improved humanitarian access to conflict-affected areas, is vital to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods and to avert the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5).

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