Somalia: Drought Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF n: MDRSO007 / PSO037

Dry hot conditions continue to prevail across Somaliland, leading to rapid deterioration in rangeland resources as well as access to water and food security across Somaliland (FEWS NET Feb 2019).The consensus forecast released at the end of August 2018 by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF50), indicating a greater likelihood of normal to above-normal Deyr (Oct-Dec) rainfall, did not materialize. Indeed, the Deyr rains started late and were significantly below average across most of the country, with large parts of central Somalia and some parts of northern Somalia receiving 25 to 50 percent of average rainfall according to IPC 15/02/2019. Driven by the impacts of below-average Deyr seasonal (October to December 2018) rainfall and large-scale destitution and displacement from the 2016/2017 drought and protracted conflict, more than 1.5 million people in Somalia are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse through June 2019. In addition, 903,100 children under the age of five are likely to be acutely malnourished in 2019, according to findings from the post-Deyr seasonal assessment conducted in November and December 2018 by FNSAU, FEWSNET, Government Authorities and humanitarian actors.

Pastoral populations face depleted rangeland resources and limited saleable animals, while agropastoral households harvested below average Deyr agricultural production. Little to no rainfall is forecast in the coming weeks, as is typical during the Jilaal (January-March) dry season.

In view of the above, the food security situation in Awadal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool in Somaliland is worsening (OCHA 13/02/2019). Across Somaliland, 1,336,000 people are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) conditions, 673,000 are in Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3), while 52,000 are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) conditions.

Some of these regions have experienced drought for several seasons. Households have lost their means of survival, while others are still recovering from the damage caused by Cyclone Sagar in May 2018 (OCHA 05/02/2019). Areas of particular concern include Northern Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions, which are experiencing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) conditions, and Sanaag and Sool which are experiencing (IPC Phase 2) conditions (USAID 29/01/2019). This deterioration in food security outcomes is expected to continue until June 2019. Many northern agropastoral and pastoral livelihoods zones will deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by April (OCHA 05/02/2019). Food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4), while browse and water conditions are below average in parts of Northern Somaliland. Increased livestock migration is anticipated as surface water and pasture resources are depleted, until the onset of the Gu rains (April-June) which is expected to improve livestock productivity, increase the number of saleable animals, and improve agricultural labour opportunities. (FEWS NET Feb 2019.

To note, interventions classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse require interventions aimed at:

(i) Reducing food consumption gaps,

(ii) Eradicating acute malnutrition rates,

(iii) Saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

Some 180,000 children under age 5 in Somaliland are estimated to be acutely malnourished, including 26,000 severely malnourished (SAM), as per FAO,FSNAU 03/02/2019. Aid agencies in Somaliland, where security and access are relatively good, have called for early funding to sustain aid operations as well as scaled-up development interventions. (OCHA 05/02/2019 Acute food security is projected to continue in Somaliland for (i) farmers and pastoralists who lost most of their livestock assets during the 2016-2017 drought, (ii) Populations affected by flooding and Cyclone Sagar in 2018 and (iii) IDPs, who constitute a significant portion of those in need and have lost their livelihood support through displacement. Through January – May 2019, the situation is expected to deteriorate further if humanitarian assistance is not provided urgently.

Additionally, other vulnerable groups include female-headed households, children (particularly acutely malnourished children under the age of 5), the elderly, people with disabilities and marginalized communities. These groups are at risk and equally face protection concerns.

The following areas of concern are considered hotspots and in urgent need of nutrition and health interventions. They have a critical prevalence of acute malnutrition (>15% GAM) or >10.7 percent of children have a mid-upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) below the 125-millimeter threshold.

Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies