Food Security Outlook

Food security outcomes may improve but not reduce the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

April 2013 to September 2013

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Despite expected, continued, near average performance of the Gu rains through June, 1.05 million people are projected to remain acutely food insecure. While from July through September, food security outcomes are expected to slightly improve, this will not significantly reduce the populations in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

  • Gu rains started earlier than normal in March, and they have had mixed intensity, temporal distribution, and spatial distribution since then. However, the rains are likely to improve pasture and water conditions, livestock productivity and values, and allow Gu cropping, which will all likely result in improved food security outcome in much of the country.

  • Due to complete market dependency during the typical April to June lean season, a result of the limited stocks from own production from the Deyr harvest in February/March 2013, food security outcomes are not expected to improve in most of the Juba Valley between now and June, particularly in the agropastoral areas of Lower Juba and northern Gedo. However, poor households’ access to food is expected to improve from July through September, following the Gu harvest and gradual improvements in herd size.

  • Despite the reduced tension between the two major clans in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in the Northwest, the opening of the border with Djibouti, and an unusual, heavy rain storm in early March, poor households will remain classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September. Access to food will likely increase but remain low. While the proportion of the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely decrease, it will remain above 20 percent of the local population.

National Overview

Current Situation

Based on Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU)’s and Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS NET)’s and partners’ seasonal food security assessment in December 2012 and January 2013, 1.05 million people were projected to remain acutely food insecure through June 2013. The January to March Jilaal dry season was drier than normal with high temperatures reported from much of the country. The high temperatures, and drier than usual conditions caused water scarcity, affecting livestock production and value in some pastoral areas in the North. Significant livestock out-migration from Sool and Sanag to Bari and Nugal Regions was observed. Water trucking with very high water prices became common in February and early March in many northern pastoral areas.

Earlier than normal Gu rains with mixed trends in terms of intensity and temporal and spatial distribution fell across the country in late March and early April. In late March, moderate to heavy rains of over 100 millimeters (mm) in some places were received in the Northwest and parts of the South. However, more normal amounts fell in April. In the central regions, localized rains of below normal amount fell in the cowpea belt, Addun Pastoral, and Hawd Pastoral livelihood zones. The rain subsided in most of the central and northern regions of the country during the middle of April. The entire Coastal Deeh, parts of the Nugal Valley, and Addun Pastoral and Hawd Pastoral livelihood zones in the central regions remained dry in mid-April.

In the North, water tracking was on-going through March in most of Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in Awdal Region, the Sool Plateau, and the Nugal Valley in Sool and Sanag Regions. Despite water shortages, rangeland conditions remained average through the January to March Jilaal though in some areas in Sool and the Nugal Valley, pasture deteriorated more than usual due to the drier and warmer than usual Jilaal season. Similar trends in terms of water and pasture availability exist in the pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zoness in the central region including in Addun, Hawd, Coastal Deeh Pastoral, and the cowpea belt livelihood zones. In the South, a milder Jilaal season in most parts of the region preserved pasture and water access. However, the agropastoral livelihood zones in Lower and Middle Juba and Gedo Regions, which experienced significantly below average Deyr crop production in February/March 2013, are depending entirely on food purchase, which has reduced poor households’ access to food. Cereal production from agropastoral areas of Bay and riverine areas within the Juba Valley have increased the local market cereal supply and stabilized the prices.

Other food security conditions are developing in mostly seasonally usual ways:

  • Rangeland conditions in the pastoral livelihood zones in most parts of the country have improved due to average rains with wide temporal and spatial distribution in late March. These rains relieved water stress and helped pasture regenerate.
  • Sowing in the agropastoral and agricultural areas in most parts of Bay, Bakol, Gedo, Middle Juba, and Lower Juba was enabled by the late March rains. Many farmers started planting with the start of the rains, and so far, seed germination rates have been reported to be average to good. However, most parts of Hiran and Middle and Lower Shabelle Regions have only received lighter showers which are not yet sufficient for planting.
  • Locally produced maize and sorghum prices in showed mixed trend. The average March sorghum price in the sorghum belt reference markets increased by 25 percent since March 2012. However, the average pricewas below the five-year average and six months before by 20 and 6 percent, respectively. In the Juba Valley, the average March price of a kilogram (kg) of white maize prices was still lower than last year and the five-year average by 21 and 6 percent, respectively, which is unusual during the beginning of the lean season, probably due to the overall above-average Deyr production. In the Shabelles, the average maize increased from February to March, but it was still lower than the five-year average and last year by 36 and 18 percent, respectively.
  • The imported red rice prices in the South and the Northeast decreased slightly from December to March. In almost all reference markets, these prices are below the five-year average. However, in the Northwest, unlike in the rest of the country, the average price of imported red rice in March was 15 and 3 percent above March 2012 and September 2012, respectively. Nevertheless, this average price is only one percent higher than the five-year average.
  • Livestock prices declined in the agropastoral reference markets in Gedo and Lower and Middle Juba Regions from December 2012. In March, the local quality goat prices were the lowest they had been since February 2011. This could be due to poor body conditions and excess livestock sales to purchase food, since there was near failure of the Deyr harvest in February/March and the Gu harvest in July/August 2012 was significantly below average in these livelihood zones. In the central and northeastern regions, local quality goat prices are following their seasonal tendency and have been increasing since February. For example, within the reference markets in the central regions, the average March local quality goat price was 8 and 34 percent higher than February 2013 and the five-year average, respectively. This average price was three and nine percent lower than March 2012 and September 2013, respectively. March prices are typically lower than September prices due to the livestock exports peaking during the Hajj, a peak in export demand, which is usually in September or October. Unlike the rest of the country, in the Northwest, the average March local quality goat price was higher than six months before, March 2012, and the five-year average by 10, 17, and 59 percent, respectively. The higher prices may be driven by lower supply coming into these markets from Somali Region in Ethiopia and the Sool Plateau and Nugal Valley.
  • In the sorghum belt in Bay and Bakol Regions, the average terms of trade (ToT) between local goat quality and sorghum has decreased since November last year, and in March, it was 23 and 14 percent lower than in March 2012 and September 2012, respectively. However, the ToT in these regions was still higher than the five-years average by 62 percent. In contrast, in the Jubas, the average ToT between local quality goat and white maize has increased in March 2013 and was higher than March 2012 and the five-year average. Despite high ToT in the Jubas, one local quality goat in Bay and Bakol region in March was worth an average of nearly 210 kilograms (kg) of sorghum, while in the Jubas, the same quality of goat could be worth an average of around 130 kg. This was 81 percent higher than the five-year average in Jubas, but due to historically low terms of trade in the Jubas in 2008, 2009, early 2009, and 2011, being above average is not indicative of ToT that facilitates above-average food access. ToT in the Jubas remain among the lowest in the country.
  • The daily labor wage rate in the most of the crop producing zones in the South remained largely stable from November 2012 to March 2013. In most regions such as Bay, the Shabelles, the Jubas, and Hiran, the regional average rate is above the five-year average, but in March 2013 the daily wage rate increased due to demand for agricultural labor for land preparation and planting. However, in Gedo, the regional average rate decreased from February to March 2013, but still, it remained 15 percent above the five-year average.
  • In March, the cost of the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB), a way of measuring the cost of living in Somalia, increased in U.S. dollar (USD) terms between 4 and 8 percent in both Somali shilling- (SOS) and Somaliland shilling (SLSH)-using markets from January to March. The exceptions were in Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed Regions in the Northwest, where it has remained relatively stable. In the southern and central regions, the MEB measured in local currency terms decreased between six and 13 percent from January to March in Banadir, Lower Juba, and Bay Regions as a result of the sustained decline in the prices of imported and locally grown cereals. In Beletweine and in Galkacyo, the cost of MEB increased by 8 and 10 percent, respectively, between January and March due to increased local cereal prices as a result of intensified insecurity and the torrential rains in March which hindered cereal trade flows from Bay and Somali Region in Ethiopia, the key supply areas for these regions. The lowest cost of the regional average MEB in the country in March 2013 was observed in Lower Shabelle Region, and it was 13 percent below January 2013. Significant declines were also found in Middle Shabelle, Middle Juba, Banadir, and Bay Regions.
  • Due to increasing conflict in most of South/Central and the announced withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Bay and parts of Bakol, displacement has also increased. Displacement has been especially common from Bakol, particularly from Hudur District in March and April. Some internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had been living in Bay and Bakol Regions have now moved to Murtinle village in Ethiopia passing through El Barde town in Bakol. Conflict and related displacement have decreased trade and labor opportunities in the affected areas, particularly affecting poor urban and IDP households. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that 27,320 new people were newly internally displaced in Somalia from January through March. Organized and targeted killing, suicide bombing, and car bombing incidents have all increased in Mogadishu as well as other major towns in the South for the last three months. The armed group fighting against the federal government of Somalia and AMISOM recaptured Hudur, the capital city of Bakol Region. Based on FSNAU field reports, periodic clashes including inter-clan violence and resource-related conflicts and reprisal killings in pastoral areas of southern Galgadud Region were also reported.
Assumptions

The April 2013 to September 2013 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:

Climate:

  • April to June Gu rains are likely to be near average in terms of amount and temporal coverage. Rains have had an early onset good spatial coverage, and they are likely to peak in May. Moderate to heavy rains are likely over the southern coastal strip of the country in late April.
  • June to September Hagaa rains are forecast to have near normal rainfall totals with a near-normal timing of the onset in the South in Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Juba, and parts Bay Regions. June to September Hagaa rains will likely sustain seasonally normal water and pasture availability in southern Somalia.
  • June to September Karan rains in the Northwest and Northeast area also expected to have near normal rainfall totals with a near-normal timing of the onset.
  • Water and pasture will remain available, even in berkad-dependent pastoral zones of the central and northern regions, due to expected dry but cooler than usual weather from July to September

Agricultural labor demand and crop production:

  • Within continued likelihood of average Gu 2013 rainfall performance, average planted area is likely. This would result in an average Gu crop harvest in July 2013. Availability and access to cereals are likely to be at near normal levels through September 2013.
  • Agricultural labor demand is likely to be average to below average in May/June due to likely flooding in the riverine areas of Hiran, the Shabelles, and the Jubas. Both the Shabelle and the Juba Rivers are at their full crest, and more heavy rains over the coming weeks in both the upper river catchments in Ethiopia and locally in the river basins in southern Somalia will likely lead to additional floods. As result of floods, agricultural activities are likely to be delayed on many riverine farms. Despite the floods and likely delayed harvest, recession cultivation of off-season Gu crops planting is likely in July. This will lead to a reduction in agricultural labor income during the floods in these areas and extend the riverine lean season into August.
  • Farmers in agropastoral areas of the Jubas, Gedo, and Bakol will likely increase planted area under cereals to overcome shortages of household cereal stocks that have persisted since 2009.
  • Farmers from the surplus-producing areas for cereals such as Bay and Lower Shabelle are likely to plant more cash crops such as sesame, cowpea, and groundnut than cereals during the April to June Gu 2013 season due to low cereal prices.

Livestock:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • With the projected normal to above normal April to June Gu rainfall totals, grazing and water conditions are likely to be seasonally average to good, but decline gradually during the dry July to September Hagaa dry season. With average to good grazing conditions leading to typical migration patterns. No major livestock disease outbreaks are anticipated, and relatively good livestock body conditions with medium to high conception rates are assumed to prevail through May. However, the conception rates of camels in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, the Sool Plateau, and the Nugal Valley are likely to be below average due to livestock’s current, poor body conditions.
  • Cattle, camel, and goat milk availability and access will likely increase in most pastoral livelihood zones of the country from April to June as a result of medium calving, kidding, and lambing expected during the Gu wet season as well as the improved water availability and pasture conditions.
  • Livestock prices, particularly for goats and camels will seasonally increase from March through September as livestock export demand in the Middle East increases for Ramadan in July and August and the Hajj in October. Restocking by traders both in Somalia and the Middle East steadily grows between now and early October in anticipation of a large spike in demand during the Hajj.

Markets and trade:

  • Sorghum and maize prices will likely slightly increase during the April to June lean period before green consumption of the Gu harvest begins in July. Prices will likely follow a seasonal decreasing trend between July and September, despite somewhat low cereal stocks as a result of recent flood damage. Current staple cereal prices at the main producer markets in Lower Shabelle and Bay Regions are the lowest since January 2008, and they are likely to remain at that level following the past successive seasons of average to above average harvests.
  • Seasonal monsoon sea closure between April and September, which prevents smaller ships from servicing many ports, will likely contribute to reduced imports of key commodities including rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, and diesel fuel. The market supply should be seasonally normal, though prices will increase at a near typical level. Rising prices of imported goods are likely to contribute to increased total cost of the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB).
  • The Somali shilling (SOS) is likely to appreciate against major foreign currencies or remain stable due to continued growth of the economy in Mogadishu and the limited supply of the paper Somali shilling notes available in markets.
  • The Somaliland shilling (SLSH) will likely remain stable as foreign currency earnings in the Somaliland shilling-using zone of the Northwest seasonally increase in anticipation of greater foreign currency earnings during the livestock export peak from September and October 2013.

 Humanitarian assistance:

  • Access to humanitarian interventions will likely be reduced from current levels due to increased civil insecurity in most of the rural areas of the South controlled by armed groups. The roads’ impassibility caused by the heavy rains will exacerbate the reduction in humanitarian access. However, ongoing humanitarian assistance is likely to continue in the fairly secure and accessible areas including in the western areas of Galgadud and Mudug Regions and the North. Humanitarian assistance is also assumed to continue in the areas that are currently controlled by the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) including parts of Lower Juba, Gedo, Bakol, and Hiran Regions. In Bay Region with the possible exceptions of Baidoa and Burhakaba towns, civil insecurity will likely to restrict humanitarian access. While civil insecurity is expected to have a large-scale impact on humanitarian access, the effects on most trade routes and on market access are expected to be more limited.

Conflict:

  • Organized attacks from armed groups aimed at the Federal Government of Somalia’s personnel and AMISOM troops are likely to continue. Also, coordinated attacks and counter-maneuvers by Somali troops supported by AMISOM troops will likely increase, mainly in the South and especially in the Juba Valley. The conflict is likely to continue to constrain humanitarian access, increase loss of life and assets, and disrupt both trade and population movements. Increased conflict is likely to result in increased displacement.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Despite deteriorating food security in agropastoral areas of Juba and Gedo and some pastoral areas of the Northwest due to a locally poor Deyr harvest followed by an especially hot Jilaal dry season, food security outcomes in Somalia are not expected to significantly change from the February estimate of 1.05 million people be in acute food security Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 or 4) from April to June 2013. From April through June, most parts of the country will be in the Gu wet season, hence the productivity of livestock will seasonally increase. Many livestock will give birth. Average rainfall totals for this season are likely to lead to availability from usual water sources and an improvement in pasture and browse conditions, especially in the areas that had poorer rainfall during the October to December 2012 Deyr, including the Sool Plateau and the Nugal Valley in the Northeast. No major changes in food security classification are expected between now and September, and most parts of the pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, risks to poor households livelihoods remain due to the effects of floods, insecurity, and potential displacement.

Expected access to own produced crops from July, increased milk availability, reduced cereal prices, and increased livestock prices from July to September, indicate that food security conditions for agropastoral, pastoral, and riverine livelihood zones are expected to improve. However, deterioration will likely occur in the conflict-affected areas and regions, particularly Bakol and Bay Regions, but they are not currently expected to reach Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Food security condition of the riverine communities along the Shabelle and Juba Rivers will likely deteriorate from April to June due to the possible floods which will reduce agricultural labor income, but the situation will likely improve from July to September due to the income from agricultural labor during the off-season crop planting. In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, which received light Hays rains in December, poor households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) despite improved water availability following unusual flash floods and runoff from the Golis Mountains in early March.

No new, representative nutrition surveys have been conducted since the Deyr 2012/13 seasonal assessment in December and January. However, nutrition outcomes are likely to improve in pastoral and agropastoral zones between April and September. In riverine areas, due to the presence of communicable diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, and whooping cough which are common during the rainy season, nutrition outcomes may degrade during the April to June Gu rains and afterwards. 

Areas of Concern

Lower Juba Agropastoral and Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in northern Gedo

Current Situation

In the agropastoral areas of Lower Juba and northern Gedo, households are currently entirely dependent on market purchases as their sole source of food due to significantly below average Deyr harvests in February/March. Households also have livestock holdings below their 2005 baseline levels. However, households are selling livestock to fund market purchases of food and other essential items. Early average to above average Gu 2013 rainfall fell in March and April in most of the agropastoral areas of Middle and Lower Juba and Gedo Regions. Planting started in late March for a wide range of crops, and normal seed germination rates were reported.

Poor households’ access to agricultural labor increased with the start of the rains, improving households’ income and food access. However, the primarily crop-dependent agropastoral areas of Jamame District in Lower Juba Region, which were affected by especially poor agricultural production during the Deyr, have not yet received rain. They are still in their normal dry season as they typically only start to receive Gu rains in May. These households are sending some household members to work on nearby, irrigated riverine farms, and they are producing charcoal. They are currently classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Similarly, in the parts of Lower Juba Agropastoral livelihood zone closer to the coastal areas, it has so far remained dry and no agricultural activities are ongoing. Most of the agropastoral areas are currently controlled by Al Shabaab. Trade links with areas controlled by the federal government of Somalia and AMISOM troops has been blocked. Al Shabaab banned humanitarian interventions in these areas, and they have recently become more effective in enforcing this ban.

Cattle milk prices in Lower Juba’s agropastoral reference markets increased from February to March. They were higher in March than six months before, but the average price is 25 percent lower than March 2012. The price of camel milk, which is the substitute for cattle milk consumed in the rural areas of the region, also increased in Lower Juba, but in northern Gedo’s agropastoral reference markets, average milk prices decreased by 11 and 18 percent compared to February 2013 and October 2012, respectively. This decrease reflects the increased milk production due to a medium rate of calving in December 2012 and improved pasture and water availability following the March rains. However, these average prices are 171 percent above the five-year average and remain high compared to historical milk prices.

Local quality goat prices in the agropastoral reference markets of Afmadow, Jamame, and Hagar started to increase in March, following usual, seasonal trends. However, local quality goat prices in March remained 28 lower than October 2012 but 18 and 6 percent higher than February 2013 and last year, respectively. The average terms of trade (ToT) between local quality goats and white maize in these markets, have increased by 8 and 40 percent compared to six months before and the same time last year, but they are 20 percent lower than the five-year average. Similarly, the average daily labor wage rate to white maize ToT in March increased by 33 and 14 percent from February 2013 and October 2012, respectively, but it was 20 percent lower than the five-year average. This increase is due to increased seasonal demand for agricultural labor. In northern Gedo’s agropastoral reference markets, average ToT between local quality goat and sorghum decreased by 10, 31, and 24 percent compared to February 2013, October 2012, and March 2012, respectively. This decrease is due to the decline in goat prices and slight increase of local cereal prices. Locally produced cereal prices in Lower Juba agropastoral in March 2013 reached their lowest levels since March 2008, similar to other parts of the country such as the Shabelles. This decrease is attributed to the supply from the riverine zones’ above average Deyr harvest in February/March and humanitarian interventions in the federal government-controlled areas. Red sorghum prices in northern Gedo have remained stable since October 2012, despite the poor production and subsequently below average Deyr harvest.

Due to these factors, combined with current insecurity and limited humanitarian assistance, poor households in Jamame District which is the main maize-producing agropastoral area in Lower Juba Region, have significant food consumption gaps. They are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, other agropastoral areas in Juba and Gedo Regions, which are more livestock-dependent than those in Jamame District, are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

Assumptions

In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumption has been made about agropastoral areas in Lower Juba and northern Gedo:

  • Insecurity is likely to be high in these livelihood zoness between April and September with likely clashes between Federal Government of Somalia forces supported by AMISOM and armed groups organized around single clans or coalitions of clans. Unlike in other areas of the country, insecurity will likely reduce trade movements, including the profitable southern export route for cattle and small ruminants into Kenya. Insecurity will also lead to increased displacement within the region, increasing the number of IDPs.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Between April and June 2013, poor households’ income will likely increase due to increased income from livestock and milk sales and labor income from land preparation, planting, and weeding for the ongoing Gu season. Increased incomes will allow food consumption to slightly improve. However, between July and September, income from agricultural labor will decline seasonally, but households would still have income from livestock and milk sales.

Poor households’ access to milk will increase as medium livestock reproduction rate is expected between April and July and each cow will produce more milk during the April to June wet season, resulting in nutritional improvements. Green maize and green cowpeas will be available by June for consumption. Despite the increase in food from own production, households will still depend primarily on the market through June. Seasonal increases in the prices of imported commodities will reduce poor households’ access to food. Trade disruptions related to insecurity may further reduce imported commodity market supply.

Between July and September, poor households will gradually start consuming more food following the Gu harvest. Access to food will likely improve. Food security outcomes will likely improve to or remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) though a number of household may still have food consumption gaps and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In Jamame District, the Hagaa rains will bring improvements by July when green consumption begins, so, despite the dry conditions so far, this area is likely to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) for July to September.

Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in the Northwest

Current Situation

Despite the successive dry seasons since late 2010, Guban Pastoral livelihood zone received unusual average to good rains in late March. In Zeylac and Berbera Districts, more than three days of heavy rainfall were received in late March and early April. Similar rains fell in the adjacent Golis Mountains, which triggered heavy run-off water and sent water into the previously dry riverbeds. As a result of these average rains and run-off into the zone, pasture and water conditions improved, resulting in improved livestock body conditions. Some out-migrated livestock are returning.

In March 2013, local quality goat price in Lawyado market decreased by 6 percent from the previous month but was two, 49, and 61 percent higher than October 2012, March 2012, and the five-year average, respectively. The high livestock prices over the past six months are primarily due to the decreasing number of saleable livestock in the market. In March 2013, the price of white sorghum, the local staple cereal, had remained stable since October 2012, but it was 23 percent lower than last year and 43 percent higher than the five-year average in Lawyado. The alternative staple, imported rice was being sold in March at nine, three, and 36 percent above the prices from February 2013, October 2012, and last year, respectively. Due to improving livestock body conditions and increasing availability of water, poor households’ access to credit to purchase food increased. The local quality goat to imported rice terms of trade (ToT) were mostly stable between October 2012 and March 2013. Although terms of trade remained mostly unchanged over the past year, poor households are unable to support adequate food access from livestock sales income as they have a limited number of marketable livestock.

Despite the reduced tension between the two major clans in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, there has not been clan reconciliation, so the communities remain alert, significantly reducing both typical trade and population movements. The authorities of Somaliland and Djibouti have negotiated over the insecurity issues, and Djibouti reopened the border in February. The traditional labor migration route to Djibouti, which is a major source of income, is currently reviving, but the number of labor migrants remains below normal.

Around one third of the poor households in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone are living in makeshift housing made of tarps, branches, and other temporary materials, outside of main villages in West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone, a one to two day journey by foot from Guban Pastoral livelihood zone. These destitute pastoralists who have lost their livestock are surviving from the incomes obtained from gem stone collection and charcoal production. The impact of recent rains on food security is not yet observable. Poor households are getting food through kinship support, food loans from traders and other retailers, and accelerated livestock sales, which deplete their primary source of income. They are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Assumptions

In addition to the national assumptions described above, for the most likely food security outcomes through September, the following assumptions for Guban Pastoral livelihood zone have been made:

  • Livestock body conditions and values will likely continue to improve, and the availability of saleable livestock at household level will slightly increase but remain lower than normal due to low livestock holdings.
  • With improving livestock health and adequate pasture availability due to the unusual March to April rains, conception rates will likely be medium to good. These conceptions will likely lead to kidding and lambing in October and calving of camels starting in June 2014.
  • Defused inter-clan tension in Zeylac District is likely to normalize pastoral mobility. This will permit the return of out-migrated livestock currently in Djibouti to Guban Pastoral livelihood zone.
  • The cross-border trade and population movement with Djibouti is likely to remain operable, improving incomes from cross-border labor migration and trade, and as a result, increasing income from both remittances and informal road taxes.
  • Poor households are expected to be able to access credit for food purchases from April to September as the better-off households and traders have noticed the improvements in livestock body conditions and values, and creditors evaluate debt repayment as more likely than before the unusual rains in March and April.
  • The projected average July to August Karan rains over the Golis Mountains will likely generate significant runoff water to the coastal plains of Guban Pastoral livelihood zone.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Based on the above assumption and the national-level assumptions, poor households’ access to food from April to September 2013 will likely improve, but any significant change on food security outcome will unlikely be observed before October when goats start kidding and goat milk availability increases. Small ruminants are expected to start conceiving in late April. Camels are likely to conceive around late May 2013. Medium to high kidding rates is expected from the small ruminants in October. Overall, between now and September, income from livestock milk sales will be lower than a typical year, due to the fact that almost no livestock births have taken place since 2010. Birth rates have been very low for goats, and no camels have calved in the past year.

Improved livestock body conditions and cereal market supply will result in increased local quality goat to cereal terms of trade between May and September. However, poor households who have limited saleable livestock, so they will benefit only indirectly through social support from the better-off households. Increased remittances and labor opportunities as a result of reduced clan tension will likely enhance the poor households’ purchasing power and access to basic food purchases. Despite the limited improvements that will likely be observed through September, high temperatures, low levels humanitarian assistance due to poor road infrastructure and recent conflict, and limited milk availability will likely offset some these improvements and negatively affect nutritional status during April to June . However, nutrition levels will likely improve during the July to September following the return of out-migrated livestock, improved pasture availability and water conditions an improved milk production. In the past, during the summer hot season, Djibouti’s better-off urban community leaves Djibouti Ville during the so-called “summer exodus” often traveling to Borama, Hargeysa, and Burao from June to September to avoid the intense heat in Djibouti Ville. With the border reopened, some of these better-off households may pass through Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, which increases income from petty trade, tire repair, charcoal sales, and other roadside income-generating activities.

Based on the projected food security outcomes, between April and June, poor households will remain classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), although the total number of poor households that can only meet their basic food needs through irreversible asset depletion might be reduced. Between July and August during the Karan rainy season, some run-off water from Golis Mountains is expected to further improve the pasture availability and water conditions. During this time, poor households will access free water, seek labor migration, kinship support will increase, and credit food purchases will prevent the further reduction of distress livestock sales. Access to food will likely increase, but remain inadequate. Poor households are unlikely to fully recover from pervious drought impacts in 2013, and the proportion of the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between July and September will likely still be well above 20 percent of the entire population.

According to FSNAU’s and partners’ analysis, based in part on a representative Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) nutrition survey that was conducted in December 2012 along with historical data, the projected malnutrition levels were estimated to remain Critical through June 2013.

Events that Might Change the Outlook

Area

Event

Impact on food security outcomes

Agropastoral areas of Lower Juba and Gedo Regions

 

Poor ending of the Gu rains

 

Below average April to June Gu rains could result in a seriously reduced Gu harvest in July and August. As the crops perform poorly, this will reduce labor opportunities and daily wage rates for activities such as weeding and harvesting. With reduced income from labor, which typically provide around a quarter of annual income, households will increase their livestock sales to purchase food. This would further reduce the herd sizes of poor households. Many households could reach the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level of acute food insecurity with little or none of their own production to consume and limited income with which to purchase food by August or September.

Guban Pastoral livelihood zone

Increased conflict, reduced cross border trade movements, and below average June to September Karan rains over the Golis Mountains

Increased clan conflict would significantly reduce population movements, especially labor migration to Djibouti. Remittances would significantly decline, reducing household access to food.

Below average Karan rains would significantly reduce available pasture and water resources ultimately reducing livestock production and values. With fewer saleable animals and less access to milk, the nutrition situation is more likely to deteriorate.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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