Somalia: Food Assistance Fact Sheet – Updated September 30, 2019
Most areas of Somalia experienced below-average and erratic rainfall during the AprilJune gu season, resulting in a particularly poor gu harvest, which typically accounts for two-thirds of Somalia's annual crop production. In southern Somalia, overall gu cereal harvests were 68 percent below the long-term average and the worst since 1995, while in northern Somalia, harvests in November/December are likely to be more than 40 percent below average, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) and the UN Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU).
Many affected households had not recovered livestock and other assets lost during the 2016/17 drought, and have limited coping capacity.
Furthermore, an estimated 2.6 million people remain internally displaced due to persistent conflict, with most of the 14 major displacement settlements already in Crisis (IPC 3) or Stressed (IPC 2) phases of acute food insecurity, according to the post-gu assessment.
Up to 2.1 million Somalis may face Crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity through December, marked by food consumption gaps and depletion of productive assets. Sustained emergency food assistance has likely prevented worse food security outcomes in many areas, and will continue to be needed to prevent greater severity of outcomes.
The October-to-December deyr rains are forecast to be average to above-average across most of Somalia, which may increase the risk of flooding and disruption to crop production in riverine areas. Potential positive impacts of increased rainfall on food security outcomes will not be immediate, according to FSNAU-FEWS NET, with recovery likely to take more than one successful season for most food insecure Somalis.
Nutrition surveys conducted in June and July confirmed the continuation of Serious (1014.9%) median prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition for a third consecutive season, with Critical (15 29.9%) prevalence in 10 of 33 population groups surveyed. Nutritional outcomes have likely deteriorated further since August, according to FEWS NET and FSNAU.
USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food-insecure Somali households and internally displaced persons (IDPs) countrywide with emergency food and nutrition assistance, as well as livelihoods support. FFP partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) and other humanitarian organizations to provide in-kind food and nutrition assistance, as well as market-based activities, such as unconditional cash transfers for food, cash-for-work activities, and food-for-vocational training. FFP also provides funding for the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women.
Source: US Agency for International Development