Food Security Outlook

Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes expected in many pastoral and agropastoral areas

February 2019 to September 2019

February - May 2019

June - September 2019

IPC v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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.
Partners: 
FSNAU

Key Messages

  • Drought conditions in the 2018/19 Deyr season have led to an increase in the total food insecure population since October. However, the impact of humanitarian food assistance resulted in an 11 percent decline in the population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) compared to the post-Gu. In the presence of food assistance, most northern pastoral livelihood zones and nearly half of IDP settlements are currently Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!), while Guban Pastoral is in Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!). Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists in Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone and most remaining IDP settlements.

  • National Deyr cereal production was 25 percent below average, but production shortfalls in low potential agropastoral areas ranged from 60 percent below average to failed. Poor households are expected to deplete their food stocks by March or earlier. In northern and central pastoral areas, declining livestock body conditions, limited livestock saleability, and rising food prices are expected to constrain household food access. Needs will be highest in April and May, at the peak of the pastoral lean season and start of the agricultural lean season.

  • Due to funding shortfalls that may prevent full implementation of planned food assistance, deterioration to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in many pastoral and agropastoral areas through May. In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, it is expected that planned assistance will be delivered through June, sustaining Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes; however, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely in the absence of planned assistance from July to September. In other areas, seasonal improvements driven by anticipated average Gu rainfall are likely to restore Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes from June onward.

NATIONAL OVERVIEW

Current Situation

October to December Deyr 2018 rainfall was below-average and delayed by one to three weeks, with poor spatial and temporal distribution. According to satellite-derived CHIRPs data, total rainfall was less than 55 percent of the long-term mean (1981-2010) in large areas of the country while majority of other areas received 55-70 percent of average (Figure 1). When compared to the short-term mean (2003-2010), rainfall was as low as 25 percent of average in parts of Sanaag, Sool, Mudug, and Galgaduud regions. Further, rainfall ceased earlier than usual in early to mid-November in most areas, particularly across northern Somalia, and much of Galgaduud and Mudug regions. However, some parts of Bari, Gedo, Galgaduud, Nugaal, and Togdheer regions received above-average rainfall, while coastal and cowpea-producing areas in central Somalia received normal to enhanced amounts late in the season. Although Guban Pastoral livelihood zone is unimodal and typically does not receive Deyr rainfall, the area’s December to January Xeys rains in Awdal region failed. In northern and central areas that have been affected by poor rainfall, the worst affected areas are currently experiencing prolonged and atypical dryness indicative of drought conditions, leading to severe water shortages and earlier than normal water trucking at high prices.

As a result of the erratic, brief, and below-average Deyr rains coupled with the effects of on-going conflict and displacement, Deyr crop production was below average in south-central Somalia and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones. Based on FSNAU and FEWS NET’s post-Deyr seasonal assessment in December 2018, total Deyr sorghum and maize production in southern Somalia is estimated at 72,100 MT, which is 25 percent below the Deyr post-war average (1995-2017) and 13 percent below the five-year average. Local production shortfalls were largest in Hiiraan, where production was 36 percent of average, as well as Lower Shabelle, Bay, and Bakool regions, where production ranged from 23 to 28 percent of average. In Togdheer, however, Deyr cereal and fodder production completely failed. In central regions, cowpea production is estimated to be 5,650 MT, which is exceptionally higher than Deyr 2017 production and the five-year average. Due to poor rainfall over the river catchments, the Shabelle river were inadequately replenished, causing river water levels at Beletweyn town to decline from 1.78m to 1.08m during January and resulting in additional crop moisture stress in downstream areas. Although main season cereal production under pump irrigation was largely unaffected and is near-average, off-season cereal production in riverine areas using gravity irrigation is below average.

In the South, increased Deyr rainfall from mid-November through December and depressed maize prices encouraged increased sesame cultivation. The shift to cash crop production contributed to the reduction in total cereal production figures compared to average but provides more income at the household level through crop sales and agricultural labor opportunities. Total sesame production was 18,250 MT, which is six percent higher compared to the five-year average.  Significant quantities of horticultural crops, including citrus, banana, watermelon, tomatoes and onions, were also produced in agropastoral and riverine areas in response to higher urban demand. However, cash crop cultivation was unable to take place during the subsequent Jilaal (January – March) dry season due to limited water for irrigation and high levels of water salinity.

In Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zone, which does not harvest Deyr crops, Gu/Karan 2018 cereal production largely failed. Harvested in November, crop production is estimated to be 11,000 MT, which is 24 percent of the Gu/Karan sevenyear average. Poor production was driven by below-average and erratic Gu/Karan rainfall, above-average temperatures, and high stalk borer and Quelea bird incidence.

Pasture, browse, and water availability currently show mixed patterns across the country. According to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and field reports, rangeland resources are average in most of the South and parts of central and northwestern regions (Figure 2). In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, specifically, atypical September to November rainfall have maintained good vegetation conditions despite the failure of the Xeys rains. However, pasture and browse are below average in rainfall-deficit areas in Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP), Addun Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, and Southern Agropastoral livelihood zones as well as riverine areas in Hiiraan and in coastal areas in Lower and Middle Shabelle. Water trucking is ongoing in NIP, Addun, and Hawd in the north and central as most surface water catchments did not replenish or were only partially filled. More severe deterioration in northern and central areas has been mitigated by the continued availability of dry pasture left over from the above-average 2018 Gu, reduced grazing pressure due to limited livestock holdings, and normal livestock migration patterns.

Livestock body conditions broadly remain normal at the start of the January to March Jilaal dry season (PET score 3), except in rainfall-deficit areas in northern and central Somalia where body conditions are poor and migration options are limited. Of greatest concern are NIP, central Addun Pastoral, central Hawd Pastoral, and Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan livelihood zones, where lactating female herds are deteriorating. As of now, no atypical livestock deaths have been reported. As a result of medium conception rates during the 2017 Deyr and 2018 Gu seasons, medium kidding and calving have occurred 2018 Deyr. Given medium births and rangeland resource availability, milk production and consumption ranges from average to below average across the North, except in Guban and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones where levels are poor. In central pastoral areas, milk is below average to poor, except in Cowpea Agropastoral livelihood zone where levels are average. Average to above-average milk is available in the South, except in Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone of Middle and Lower Shabelle, where levels are poor.

Due to two consecutive seasons (2017 Deyr and 2018 Gu) of medium birth rates, livestock herd sizes are slowly recovering in many areas. Yet livestock herd sizes still remain largely below baseline levels in most northern and central regions given the scale of losses during the 2016/2017 drought and impact of this year’s drought on herd recovery. According to the 2018 post-Deyr assessment, pastoralists in most livelihood zones have lost between 35 and 65 percent of their baseline herds to drought since 2016. The notable exception is Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone, where herd sizes are now slightly above average. In contrast, livestock holdings in southern pastoral and agropastoral areas are near to above the baseline. Because of medium livestock conceptions in both the and 2017 Deyr and 2018 Gu seasons, conception rates in the 2018 Deyr declined to lower levels.

Staple food prices are rising gradually in northern and central regions but remain below average in the South. Regional cereal flows and market supply largely exhibit normal patterns despite below-average crop production, driven by carryover stocks from the main and off-season 2018 Gu production. Northwestern agropastoral areas are expected to increase imports of white sorghum and maize through cross-border trade with the bordering Somali region of Ethiopia. In central and northeastern regions, maize prices remain near average but local sorghum prices in January began to rise relative to December, increasing an average 10 percent in central markets but declining slightly by four percent from average in northeastern markets. In comparison to the 2018 and five-year average, however, sorghum prices ranged from 8 to 13 percent below average and from three to six percent above average, respectively. In northwestern markets using the Somaliland Shilling (SLS), white sorghum prices in January remained comparable to last year but rose to 15 percent above the five-year average due to inflation. In southern markets, prices in January remained below the 2018 and five-year averages. In Qoriyoley reference markets in Lower Shabelle region, for example, white maize prices were 15 and 26 percent below the 2018 and five-year averages, respectively. In Baidoa reference markets in Bay Region, red sorghum was 21 and 19 percent below the 2018 and five-year averages, respectively.

Imported rice, wheat, and sugar prices remain near average in local markets, except in markets affected by the depreciating SLS and SOS in the North. This is in part due to seasonal increases in supply at port markets and in part due to the effect of humanitarian food distribution on market demand. In SLS markets, the prices of these commodities have generally increased 5 to 12 percent in the last year and 10 to 20 percent compared to the five-year average.

Livestock prices began to slightly decline from December to January, given deteriorating body condition and loss of value, but local goat prices remain generally higher than last year and the five-year average due to considerable local and international demand. In northern and central reference markets, where supply is below normal levels, the price of a local quality goat in January was 10 and 30 percent above the 2018 and five-year averages, respectively. Despite good goat prices, however, poor households have few goats to sell and total income from this livelihood activity is well below average. In southern reference markets, where supply is relatively normal, the local goat price is 10 percent above both the 2018 and five-year averages.

Household purchasing capacity, as measured by terms of trade (ToT), is above average in most regions. The labor-to-cereals ToT increased from October to December, largely due to increased demand for agricultural labor for Deyr cash crop production, in spite of localized below-average demand for cereal production labor.  Labor demand was also sustained during the crop marketing season for processing, transportation, and other market-related activities. In addition, growing economic activity in major towns, especially in the construction sector, has also contributed to increased wage rates. In Baidoa, for instance, a day of casual labor in January 2019 could buy 20 kg of red sorghum, an increase of 25 percent compared to the 2018 and the five-year average. In Kismayo in Lower Juba, the daily labor wage in January could buy 18 kg of white maize, which is 13 percent above the five-year average. Similar trends have also been observed in Middle and Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, and Gedo. 

The goat-to-cereal ToT are similarly above average, given above-average goat prices and relatively favorable cereal prices. In the South, where high goat prices were sustained throughout 2018, January ToT ranged from 19 to 39 percent above the 2018 and from 23 to 51 percent above the five-year average. In Afgoye, for instance, the sale of a goat bought 208 kg of maize. In northern regions, livestock-to-cereal ToT are more modestly above average given higher imported cereal prices. In Erigavo, the sale of a goat bought 75 kg of rice in January, which is comparable to 2018 and 32 percent above the five-year average.  Most poor households in north/central Somalia do not have adequate saleable livestock and are limited in their ability to benefit from this.

Prolonged insecurity, ongoing clan and political conflicts, and climate hazards are the main drivers of loss of lives and properties, population displacement, and disruption of market and livelihoods activities. According to UNHCR and the Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), an estimated 284,968 persons were displaced from July to December 2018. About 61 percent (174,246) of the displaced cited insecurity and 27 percent (76,969) cited a lack of livelihood opportunities as the reasons for displacement. Insecurity from recurrent clan conflict and military offensives most significantly affected Lower Shabelle, Togdheer, and Galgaduud regions during this period.

Taking these factors into account, food stocks and household income in agricultural and agropastoral areas are largely average to below average. Households also have lower than normal food access due to high levels of debt. In northern and central regions, though debt decreased from 465 US$ in July 2018 to 409 US$ In December 2018. In rain deficit areas in the

South, including Bakool and Hiran, debt levels increased between 11-25 percent from July 2018. The increase in debt levels was driven by households purchasing food and water on credit, as well as borrowing money to fund livestock input.

Although food purchases through typical income sources are lower than normal, many households are receiving food assistance or purchasing food with cash/vouchers provided by humanitarian actors. According to the Somalia Food Security Cluster, an average of 1.75 million beneficiaries were reached monthly from November to January with either cash/voucher or in-kind assistance equivalent to 80 percent of households’ food needs. The majority received cash/voucher assistance. It should be noted that the reach was slightly lower in January, although still significant, with 1.2 million beneficiaries receiving assistance compared to approximately 2.0 million in the preceding two months. Data from the post-Deyr assessment and observations from field analysts validate the presence of large-scale assistance in many areas.

According to analysis of data collected during the post-Deyr assessment, food security and livelihoods change outcomes have improved in several areas. Fewer households are reporting moderate or severe hunger in pastoral areas in north/central Somalia including Northern Inland Pastoral, Addun, East Golis, Guban, Hawd, and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones as well as agropastoral areas of northwestern regions. However, in many livelihood zones and IDP camps surveyed, Food Consumption Score (FCS) and Household Hunger Scale (HHS) remain indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food consumption, while in five areas of concern, FCS and HHS were indicative of Emergency (IPC 4) food consumption.

At the national level, acute malnutrition has slightly improved due to relatively low morbidity, improved food consumption, and sustained nutrition and health-related interventions and support. According to SMART surveys conducted in November and December 2018 by FSNAU and partners, the median prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) as measured by weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) remains Serious (10-14.9 percent) at 12.6 percent, but has slightly declined compared to the previous two seasons, when GAM (WHZ) was 14.0 percent in the 2018 Gu and 13.8 percent in the 2017 Deyr. At the livelihood zone and IDP settlement level, the most significant improvements in the Deyr 2018 compared to the Deyr 2017 were observed in Addun Pastoral livelihood zone and among IDPs in Galkacyo, Dhusamareeb, Kismayo, and Burao. Continued humanitarian interventions and decreased Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) outbreaks may have had a role to play in mitigating nutrition situation in these areas.

While improving, a high level of acute malnutrition persists in some areas of Somalia due to a combination of factors, including food insecurity, high morbidity, limited health facilities and poor sanitation and feeding practices. Of the 34 SMART surveys conducted in November and December, a ‘Critical’ (GAM WHZ 15-29.9 percent) prevalence was reported in six areas (Figure 5). Still, this is a modest improvement from the 2017 Deyr, when a ‘Critical’ prevalence was recorded in 8 out of 30 surveyed sites, and from the 2017 Gu, when a ‘Critical’ prevalence was recorded in 12 out of 33 surveyed sites. At the time of the survey, an estimated 347,300 children between six and 59 months of age are suffering from acute malnutrition, including 53,200 who are severely malnourished within the surveyed and non-surveyed areas. Although the number of cases of severe acute malnutrition is 15 percent lower than same time last year, needs remain high and urgent.

Since post-Deyr data collection in December, it is expected that access to milk and food stocks have seasonally increased, though not significantly enough to change food security outcomes. Furthermore, the continuation of humanitarian food assistance in January is supporting similar outcomes as observed in December 2018. Food assistance is preventing more extreme outcomes in Guban, East Golis, and Hawd, and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes. Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone has remained in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes exist in most southern and central regions. Compared to the 2018 post-Gu, the food insecure population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) declined by 11 percent while the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) increased two percent and 10 percent, respectively (Figure 5).

Among IDPs who were displaced by December 2018, approximately 366,000 are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 57,000 are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), based on results from the post-Deyr assessment. Seven of the 14 assessed IDP settlements – Burao, Bossaso, Galkayo, Qardho, Dolow, Dhobley, and Baidoa – had food consumption, livelihood change, and nutrition and mortality indicators equivalent to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. In six settlements, more than 29 percent of the population had a poor or borderline food consumption score and nearly 80 percent of all assessed IDPs reported engaging in stressed or crisis coping mechanisms to access food. Since the post-Deyr assessment, an additional 17,200 people have become internally displaced. It is expected that the majority of these newly displaced households have sold or lost many livelihood assets and are accessing food through community support and available humanitarian assistance.

Assumptions

The February to September 2019 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:

  • According to the NOAA/CPC, monthly surface temperatures from February to June 2019 are likely to range between 0.5 to 1 C° above average across most of Somalia. Driven by this and below-average 2018 Deyr rainfall, the remainder of the January to March Jilaal dry season is most likely to be drier and hotter than normal throughout the country. 
  • The CPC/IRI probabilistic forecast indicates the presence of weak El Niño conditions and a neutral Indian Ocean Dipole through May. Impacts are likely to be weaker compared to other El Niño events. According to NOAA/CPC and ICPAC, the March to June Gu seasonal rains are most likely to be average with a timely onset across most of Somalia. However, negative sea surface temperature anomalies off of the coast are expected to lead to below-average rainfall in coastal south-central Somalia.
  • The June to August Xagaa coastal showers in Lower and Middle Shabelle and Lower and Middle Juba are currently forecast to be above average. The July to September Karan rains in northwestern Somalia are expected to be average. However, uncertainty exists given the long-term nature of this projection.
  • Water levels in the Shabelle and Juba rivers will likely remain significantly below average to completely or partially dry through April in most areas. Given the forecast for average rainfall from April to September in the Ethiopian highlands and Juba and Shabelle river catchments, river water levels are expected to rise to normal levels after April, with localized flooding in Juba and Shabelle regions.
  • Total off-season Deyr cereal production is estimated at 4,500 MT, to be harvested in March. At the regional level, harvests are most likely to be below average in Middle and Lower Juba but above average in Middle Shabelle and Gedo. Overall, total off-season cereal production is likely to be three times the average production.
  • Despite below-average main and off-season Deyr cereal production, local cereal stocks are expected to be average through June in markets but below average at the household-level.
  • Given forecast average Gu rainfall, area planted and agricultural labor demand in agropastoral and riverine areas are most likely to be normal in April. Total Gu crop production in July is most likely to be average. Drought-resistant sorghum and cowpea production is expected to be slightly above average, while maize production will be relatively average.
  • Average rainfall in agricultural areas of the country throughout the outlook period is likely to increase agricultural labor activities and ultimately result in normal income. This is due to sustained in both the normal agriculture labor opportunities increased wage rates.
  • Livestock body conditions are expected to be maintained during the January to March Jilaal dry season due to the continuing availability of dry pasture and browse in the South, parts of North and Central regions. However, out-migrated livestock from rain deficit areas are likely to return in April 2019. Water and pasture availability are expected to be replenished in May, following the timely onset of the April to June Gu rains.  
  • Low to medium rates of calving and medium kidding and lambing are expected from March to June across the country, except in Guban pastoral livelihood zone where livestock births is expected to be lower than previously anticipated.
  • Given the harsher-than-normal Jilaal season, milk availability in most northern and central livelihood zones will significantly decline to below-average levels through March. A high number of milking females will not be able to produce milk given dry conditions and or conceived recently. In the South, however, milk production is expected to decline to seasonal levels during the Jilaal but improve from May 2019.
  • As a result of carryover stocks from above-average Gu 2018 production and below-average Deyr 2018/19 cereal harvests, the domestic staple cereal supply is expected to be tightened but modestly supplied through June 2019. Sorghum and maize imports from Ethiopia are expected to be average and contribute to stable supply and prices in bordering regions. Based on FEWS NET’s integrated price analysis, local cereal prices are expected to increase from March 2019 to June but will remain at below-average levels. With average cereal import and humanitarian assistance, local cereal supply is expected to be robust. 
  • International food import prices are expected to be stable throughout the outlook period amid large export availabilities and low prices. However, volatility in the crude oil market may impact transport costs. Likely among uncertainties from trade wars and bad weather and other external shocks, food markets remain vulnerable. Local prices are expected to be stable due to significant integration with world markets.
  • Based on FEWS NET’s integrated price analysis, livestock prices are likely to follow seasonal trends at average levels in the South and at well above-average levels in central and northern Somalia, driven by below-average supply and seasonal export demand in the Middle East during the May to August Ramadan and Hajj period.
  • Based on FEWS NET’s integrated price analysis, the price of maize and sorghum are expected to increase through the end of the agricultural lean season in May. In the North, prices are expected to climb to a record 12 to 21 percent above the five-year average. However, prices will remain below average in south and central regions.
  • According to FEWS NET’s market analysis, household purchasing power, as measured by goats-to-cereal ToT, is expected to decline steadily from April to June in most key markets driven by average to above-average livestock prices and decline or stable of cereal prices but will likely remain above normal levels. Labor-to-cereal ToT is expected to follow seasonal trends but likely remain above averages. The labor-to-cereal ToT will likely peak in July-September after the arrival of cereals from Gu production.
  • Milk prices are expected to modestly increase during the January to March Jilaal dry season due to reduced availability, seasonally decrease from April through June, and increase from August through September.
  • According to the Food Security Cluster, humanitarian actors plan to reach 70-75 percent of population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse from February to June with emergency in-kind or cash/voucher assistance in all regions. Due to restricted access, exceptions include Middle Juba and Tayeglow district of Bakool, eastern Galgaduud, and rural Buloburte and Jalalaqsi districts of Hiiraan. However, according to WFP, only partial funding has been secured through June. Based on current funding and distribution plans and past trends, it is expected that planned assistance to Guban Pastoral livelihood zone will be delivered through June. However, planned assistance may not be fully implemented in other areas. Information on distribution plans and funding from July to September are currently unavailable. In the absence of this information, no humanitarian assistance is assumed from July to September.
  • Conflict is expected to persist in south-central Somalia through September, particularly during the dry seasons. The government and allied regional state authorities continue to expand to areas controlled by insurgents, namely in Middle Juba, parts of the Shabelle regions, Gedo, Bay, Bakool, and Hiiraan. Conflict between al-Shabaab and government forces supported by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) is likely to increase from January to March, as the dry season improves road access. This will likely reduce trade and humanitarian movements, cause new displacement and an increase in illicit taxation via road blocks, and result in the loss of assets and human lives. After a reprieve during the April to June period of the Gu, conflict is likely to increase again during the July to September Xagaa dry season.
  • Clan conflicts over land ownership and resource management in Lower Shabelle, Hiiraan, and Galgaduud are expected to continue through September, periodically disrupting trade and normal population movement, suspending crop cultivation, and reducing agriculture labor opportunities.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Food security is expected to worsen through June, the end of the agropastoral and riverine lean season. An estimated 1,555,000 people are projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher, at least 139,000 of whom are likely to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). With the readiness of the Gu crop harvest in July and enhancements to livestock productivity and reproductivity alongside the April-June Gu season, food security specifically in rural areas is expected to improve between July and September 2019. The prevalence of acute malnutrition is likely to deteriorate in some northern and central regions from to while others sustain from February to June due to significantly below average livestock production, which is limiting access to livestock and milk consumption and sales income and constraining food purchases. Analysis of the Post Deyr 2018/19 findings indicates an estimated 903 100 children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition during the course of 2019, including 138 200 who are likely to be severely malnourished. The figure is based on the results of the SMART nutrition survey carried out in November /December 2018 by FSNAU and partners (including non-surveyed areas).
  • In agropastoral areas, food security is expected to deteriorate through June, the peak of the lean season. Most poor households have depleted household food stocks and depend  mainly on markets to access food. Income from livestock and milk sales are likely to decline, while staple food prices in northern Somalia are expected to increase to the highest on record, which will significantly decrease the amount of food poor households will be able to purchase. With the onset of the Gu rains in April and expected average rainfall, normal agricultural labor opportunities will begin to become available. However, Southern Agropastoral of Hiiran, Northwestern Agropastoral, Togdheer Agropastoral, and Bay Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral liveilhood zones are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through June. In Bay/Bakool and Hiiraan agropastoral areas, where food security outcomes are rapidly deteriorating, many poor and displaced households will be heavily dependent on community support and loans to access food. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to continue in these areas through June. As households accumualte income from agricultural labor and harvest likely average Gu production in July, food security in all agropastoral areas will likely improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, many poor households will need to sell a one or two goats from the few livestock they have to repay debts accrued during the drought years and the current lean season.

    In northern and central pastoral areas, food insecurity will be most severe during the peak of the lean season in April. At this time, pasture and water will be very limited. Although livestock prices will likely remain higher than the 2018 and five-year average, pastoralists will have very few livestock to sell to finance cereal purchases. In north-central regions, where the staple cereal is rice, pastoralists will face extremely high cereal prices due to depreciation of Somali Shilling (SOS) and Somaliland Shilling (SLS) as a result of printing new money and reduced of US dollor infollow from livestock exports. As a result, Northern Inland Pastoral, East Golis Pastoral of northwest, Hawd Pastoral of northwest, and Addun Pastoral of central livelihood zones are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from February to May 2019. Of greatest concern is Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, where reccurent drought and the Sagar cyclone in May 2018 led to higher livestock deaths and destitution. In the presence of planned humanitarian assistance through June, more extreme outcomes are likely to be mitigated in Guban and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) is likely. In other pastoral areas in the remaining areas of Hawd Pastoral and East Golis Pastoral livelihood zones and in Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing livelihood zone, households are likely to increase livestock sales, reduce food purchases, and divert some of their income to purchase water and animal feed, while also continuing credit food purchases and increasing current debt levels. These areas are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), though a proportion of the population will likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through June. Average Gu rainfall will gradually improve the productivity and reproductivity of the remaining livestock, but pastoralists have few livestock to sell and debts will remain very high. Seasonal improvements will improve area-level outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in all pastoral livelihood zones except Guban from June to September, but some poor households are still expected to face food consumption gaps and will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In Guban Pastoral, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) would be likely in the absence of assistance.

    In the South, most livelihood zones are likely to have relatively better food access, with the exception of the abovementioned low potential agropastoral zones. Food security is expected to be driven favorable local cereal prices and terms of trade, near-baseline herd sizes, and anticipated average Gu crop production. During the Gu season, households will access agricultural labor opportunities and pasture and water resources will likely regenerate to normal levels. Livestock body conditions and production are likely to improve and medium sheep/goat births in May are anticipated to permit normal milk and livestock sales. Most households will earn sufficient income for minimum food purchases and debt repayment or access sufficient food from own production and are expected to be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1), though riverine areas and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zones are likely to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

    In urban areas and IDP settlements, food security is expected to further deteriorate through at least June, as rising food prices drive below-average purchasing power. Based on outcomes collected during the post-Deyr assessment, an estimated 580,000 IDPs are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 95,000 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through June 2019. In January 2019, approximately 17,000 additional people have been displaced, and are likely to have limited access to sufficient food. The influx of IDPs to urban centers is also expected to increase competition for labor, impacting food access, and could lead to more cases of disease outbreak, affecting GAM prevalence. Widespread of eviction of IDPs have been reported in 2017 and 2018 in major cities in southern Somalia, including Baidoa and Mogadishu, further exacerbating their already precarious humanitarian situation.  

    For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.

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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