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Despite improvements, more than one million likely to remain in Crisis through June 2013

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Somalia
  • January 2013
Despite improvements, more than one million likely to remain in Crisis through June 2013

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  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events that Might Change the Outlook
  • Partners
    European Commission
    UK Aid
    Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
    Cooperazlone Italiana alo Sviluppo
    CHF Somalia
    Key Messages
    • As a result of positive impact of the good Deyr rains on livestock and crop performance and continued humanitarian assistance, the number of people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) has halved to 1.05 million since August. Even so, malnutrition rates in Somalia remain among the highest in the world, according to surveys conducted from October to December 2012. Humanitarian assistance to protect livelihoods, reduce acute malnutrition, and help the  most food insecure populations meet their food needs is still necessary.

    • With the onset of the January to March Jilaal dry season, livestock productivity will decrease, but no major changes in food security classification are expected between now and June. However, livelihoods in Somalia remain at risk to a wide variety of hazards such as limited water access.

    • Early forecasts are that the April to June Gu rains will be normal to below normal in terms of total rainfall. However, if total seasonal rainfall is well below average or very poorly distributed unlike in the early forecast, the food insecure population is likely to increase. The primary areas affected would likely be maize-growing, agropastoral areas of the South.

    National Overview
    Current Situation

    Rural Areas

    The near average October to December 2013 Deyr rains and subsequent above average harvest improved food stocks at the household level, enhanced livestock production and value, and increased milk availability. Along with these gains in food and income, humanitarian interventions continued, according to the latest data gathered by FSNAU and partners in December 2012.

    The October to December 2012 Deyr rains were average to above average in most parts of the country:

    • Northwest: In most of West Golis and Guban pastoral livelihood zones, there was dry weather from October to December, which is the normal seasonal pattern. However, as is usual, moderate December to February Hays rains started in December in these areas and in the coastal areas of Bari Region in the Northeast. The December rains were well distributed except in Zeylac District in Awdal Region where they were poorly distributed. However, no Hays rains fell in January 2013 exacerbating dry conditions that have persisted in some areas since late 2010.
    • Northeast:The rainfall performance in pastoral areas was fairly good and evenly distributed including in the Coastal Deeh livelihood zone, which had large rainfall deficits over the past several seasons
    • Central regions: Rainfall in most of the Hawd, Addun pastoral livelihood zone, and the cowpea-growing areas (central agropastoral livelihood zone) were average with good frequency and distribution. Near average volume of rainfall was also received in most parts of Coastal Deeh livelihood zone in the central regions, which had received poor precipitation during the April to June Gu 2012.
    • South: Widely distributed, moderate to heavy rains fell. There were exceptions in agropastoral areas of Lower Juba and northern Gedo Region where rainfall was insufficient for normal crop development.

    As a result of the Deyr rains, maize, sorghum, and cash crop production occurred on a seasonally normal schedule with above average output overall. This season, some farmers shifted from cereals to more profitable sesame as cereal prices have remained low in many areas since the previous Deyr harvest in January 2012. Maize and sorghum production from the Deyr 2012 is estimated to be nearly 145,000 metric tons (MT). This above average cereal harvest was 46 percent higher than the post-war average (PWA, 16-year average) and 51 percent higher than the five-year average. Bay Region contributes more than half of Somalia’s sorghum production, and production was especially good in Bay and in Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions. However, the agropastoral areas of Lower and Middle Juba and Gedo Regions experienced significantly below average crop production. In addition to cereals, nearly 51,000 MT of other crops were harvested, including but not limited to sesame, cowpeas, rice, groundnuts, and watermelons. These higher value crops were mainly harvested in Lower and Middle Shabelle and Juba, Gedo, Hiran, and Galgadud Regions. Despite this production, Somalia produces only slightly over 40 percent of its annual cereal requirement even during normal seasons.

    Rangeland conditions in the most pastoral livelihoods zones in the country are near average, except for in the Sool Plateau, some parts of the East Golis pastoral livelihood zone, the Dharoor Valley in Sanag Region, and the Nugal Valley in Sool Region where Deyr rainfall was below average. In reaction, livestock migrated to areas with better pasture and browse

    condition earlier than normal, but the migration was primarily to normal areas of migration. Due to significantly poor rains in the Sool Plateau and Nugal Valley in Sool and Sanag Regions, abnormal livestock outmigrations to adjacenta reas of the Sool Plateau in Bari Region have been observed. On December 24 and 25, torrential, cold rains fell for nearly 25 hours in parts of Eyl and Dangorayo Districts of Nugal Region. A significant number of livestock died of hypothermia in localized areas.

    As a result of the October to December Deyr rains, both pasture and water availability have increased and contributed to improved livestock body conditions. The terms of trade (ToT) between a local quality goat and cereals have remained favorable and have risen since early 2012. Cereal prices have been lower than in the year before the Deyr 2011 harvest, and local-quality goat prices have been exceptionally high in many markets since April or May, before the peak export period. These higher local quality goat prices and lower than in 2011 cereal prices continued into December in most pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones, keeping terms of trade favorable for households that need to sell goats in order to buy cereals. In pastoral areas, in October and November, most livestock species either conceived or were milking. Exceptions were found in western Guban pastoral livelihood zone, parts of the Sool Plateau, and Coastal Deeh livelihood zone. Barring those exceptions, livestock holdings and herd sizes for poor households increased across all species since July 2012. Overall, reported herd sizes in December 2012 were still below household economy baseline profile levels, which were recorded as recently as 2009 to 2011 in many areas of northern Somalia. However, camel holdings in the Hawd and West and East Golis pastoral livelihood zones of the Northwest increased since July and were above baseline levels.

    Daily casual labor wages to cereals ToT are also favorable for both rural and urban day laborers. The ToT have increased further since July 2012, and they remain above their five-year averages. These wages facilitate access to food from markets for households that depend heavily on casual labor as a source of income.

    After three years of devastating recurring droughts from 2008 to 2011, in Coastal Deeh pastoral livelihood zone, poor households are benefitting from three consecutive good rain seasons (the October to December Deyr 2011, the April to June Gu 2012, and Deyr 2012), which have enhanced pasture and water conditions and significantly improved livestock value and reproduction rates. A nutrition assessment based on middle-upper arm circumference (MUAC) in December shows MUAC under 12.5 cm was recorded in 10.1 percent of cases (confidence interval (CI) 6.5 to 15.1 percent). This rate has remained unchanged from July 2012 and remains Critical although improved from Very Critical compare to December 2011. Based on these factors, in coastal Deeh pastoral livelihood zone, poor household’s access to food improved, although the area still remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Due to increased crop production, improved livestock production, increased livestock values, and favorable casual daily labor rates, food security outcomes for the most rural parts of the country have improved significantly since August 2012. Most rural areas of the country are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2) although even in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) areas, there remain many poor households still in either Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The exceptions  to the significant improvements since Auguast are Guban pastoral livelihood zone, Lower Juba agropastoral livelihood zone, and parts of the Coastal Deeh livelihood zone in the central regions where outcomes remain classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Urban Areas

    Much like in rural areas, the December 2012 assessment results indicated improved food security outcomes in urban areas since August 2012. Key outcomes of the assessment indicate improved food access. For example, less than 10 percent of urban households in the North or Banadir were employing severe coping strategies, such as the reliance on support from the community or relatives to obtain food. Households reported  increased ownership of more diverse range of assets, including productive assets. The number of productive and other assets owned increased slightly in the North. Households mostly reported stable or improved access to various income sources including casual labor, skilled labor, petty trade, and self-employment.

    In most regions of the North, over 80 percent of urban households had acceptable food consumption as defined by their  Food Consumption Score (FCS).  The FCS is  a tool to measure food consumption using both reported dietary diversity and frequency of consumption. The December scores in the North represent  an improvement in the FCSs recorded in July and August 2012. In Banadir Region, about  78  percent of households have acceptable consumption, a reduction from July 2012 estimates of 86 percent (Figure 3). The households that reported poor to borderline food consumption are also characterized by having  a relatively higher percentage of total expenditures devoted to food. Most are spending more than 75 percent of total expenditures on food alone. They also reported high level of debts incurred for purchases of both food and non-food items.

    While income has been steady or rising for many households, the cost of food and other necessities has fallen slightly. The Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) is a basket of goods, services, and obligatory fees, which is used for tracking the prices of consumer goods and services and serves as a less data-intensive proxy for other measurements of the overall cost of living such as construction of a consumer price index (CPI). This total montly cost for a given region to support a household of six to seven people is referred to as the Cost of the Minimum Expenditure Basket (CMB). From July 2012 to December 2012, the CMB declined between five and 11 percent in most urban areas of the South, including in Banadir, Lower Shabelle, Bay,  and Hiran Regions while it remained stable in the remaining urban areas in the South. In the central regions,  it declined between 13 and 17 percent. In southern and central Somalia, the increase in port activity in Mogadishu as well as falling locally produced cereal prices led to this improved cost of living as measured by the declining CMB in most southern regions-and strengthened purchasing power of the urban poor. In the Northeast, in Sanag, Bari, and Nugal Regions, the declines were between four and 14 percent. However, in the Northwest, the CMB was mostly stable from July to December 2012.

    While the CMB provides a guide to the overall cost of living, the actual purchasing power of the urban poor can be approximately measured through the casual, daily labor wages to cereals ToT. In most regions from July 2012 to December 2012, the ToT between daily, casual labor wages and locally grown cereals increased. In most regions of the South, the labor to local cereal ToT increased between two and seven kilograms (kg), meaning a casual laborer’s wages for one day would purchase this much more red sorghum or white maize in December than it did in January. The labor to cereals ToT increased from one to two kg per day in other parts of the South, in the central regions, and in the Northeast. The December 2012 ToT ranged from 15 to 22 kg per day in the South with the exception of Bakol Region where a day’s wage only earns enough to purchase six kg of red sorghum and in Lower Juba Region where a day’s wage only earns enough to purchase 10 kg of white maize. In the Central Regions, the December 2012 day’s wage to local cereal ToT are around six or seven kg of grain for each day’s wage while they are between six and eight kg in the Northeast and between eight and 12 kg of local cereal per day’s work in the Northwest. Overall, the December 2012 daily labor wage to locally produced cereal ToT are significantly above their 2007 to 2011 five-year averages except for in Bakol Region where ToT remain near the five-year average (Figure 4).

    Despite the improved food security in many parts of the South, food spending among the urban poor in parts of southern and central Somalia remains well above 75 percent of total expenditures, which may indicate continued difficulties accessing food (Figure 5). Among the urban poor, the percentage of household income spent on food remains particularly high in the central regions at 84 percent of total expenditures, in Lower Juba Region at 83 percent of total expenditures, and in Bakol at 77 percent of total expenditures. Conflict that has restrained trade, market activities, and labor access for the urban poor may be one cause of the persistence of these high expenditure levels on food (Figure 5).

    From July 2012 to December 2012, the urban population estimated to be in acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher reduced from 450,000 to 152,000 people. In addition to the urban poor at the higher end of the scale, an estimated 340,000 urban people are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2). 63 percent of the urban population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are still concentrated in the South. A significant number, estimated to be 36 percent of the urban population in Crisis (IPC Phase

    3) or higher are in the North, and only a very few cases, representing approximately one percent of the urban population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher are found in the the central regions. Similarly, of the urban population classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2), 63 percent are in the South, 37 percent in the North, and 10 percent in the central regions.

    Settlements of internally displaced persons (IDPs)

    From October to December 2012, FSNAU and partners conducted food security assessments in ten of the larger IDP settlements in Somalia. A large proportion of the IDPs had poor food consumption as measured by the Food Consumption Score (FCS). These households owned a low number of assets. They had very limited diversity in their sources of income, and they held high levels of debt. In Hargeisa, Baidoa, and Garowe, when using the information from the survey and from nutritional surveys, the IDP settlements were classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). IDP settlements in Berbera, Burco, Bossaso, Qardho, Galkayo, Dhusamareb, and Banadir Region (Mogadishu), were classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). An estimated 615,000 IDPs throughout the country are in acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    Current Nutritional Status

    From October to December 2012, FSNAU and partners conducted 42 nutrition surveys in Somalia using Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) methods. These surveys indicate that the nutrition situation improved (Figure 6) since the surveys conducted in April to July 2012.

    • Global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates have reduced  since July 2012 from Very Critical (20.0 to 29.9 percent) to Critical levels (15.0 to 19.9 percent) among pastoralists in West Golis and Guban pastoral livelihood zones and among agropastoralists in Bay Region. In the Nugal Valley, the rate fell from Very Critical to Serious (10.0 to 14.9 percent). Most other areas remain unchanged, but in Mataban District in Hiran Region, the GAM rate deteriorated from the Critical to the Very Critical level. Among settlements of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the GAM rate remained at the Critical to Very Critical levels. However, IDP settlements in Hargeisa and Garowe remained at the Serious to Critical levels.
    • Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates have either declined since July 2012 or been sustained within Acceptable levels (under 2.5 percent). A few exceptions to this general trends were found in the Hawd of the Northwest and in Addun pastoral livelihood zone where SAM rates were at the Alert level (2.5 to 3.4 percent), among agropastoralists in northern Gedo Region where SAM rates were at the Serious level (3.5 to 4.4 percent), in Beletweyne District in Hiran Region where they were at the Critical level (4.5 to 5.9 percent), and in Mataban District in Hiran Region where they were at the Very Critical level (6.0 to 9.9 percent). IDPs in settlements in Dolo, Dobley, Berbera, and Qardho had Critical to Very Critical levels of SAM rates.
    • Across the country, crude death rates (CDR) are below the emergency level of two per 10,000 per day while the death rates for children under the age of five are also below the emergency level of four per 10,000 per day. These levels are defined by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 2005 standards.
    • Based on a two weeks recall period, morbidity rates remained high. Of the assessed under five-year-old children across the country, over 20 percent reported some form of sickness over the preceding two weeks. Morbidity rates exceeded 40 percent in parts of the South, including in some IDP settlements.
    • Malnutrition rates (GAM) among IDPs were classified as Serious, Critical, or Very Critical.
    • The urban nutrition situation in the North, Banadir Region (Mogadishu), and the central regions remained stable or improved and varied from the Alert to the Serious level. Exceptions to these trends in urban nutrition were found in Woqooyi Galbeed and Sanaag Regions where the nutrition situation deteriorated from the Alert to the Serious phase.

    A total of 215,000 children under five-years-old are acutely malnourished, representing 14.3 percent of the estimated 1.5 million children under the age of five who live in Somalia. This represents a slight improvement from the 236,000 acutely malnourished children, 16 percent of the 1.5 million children, reported in August 2012. Out of this, an estimate 45,000 children, three percent of children, are severely malnourished, which is a slight improvement from the 54,000 children, 3.5 percent, reported in August 2012. Southern Somalia hosts 147,000 of the national total of acutely malnourished children. While the total number in the South is down from 168,000 in August 2012, the majority of acutely malnourished children remain in the South with 66 percent of acutely malnourished children living in the South.


    The January to June 2013 outlook is based on the following national assumptions:


    • The April to June Gu rains are likely to start on time but to be average to below average in volume. The risk of below average rains is especially high in the South and the southern parts of the central regions.
    • A warmer than normal dry January to March Jilaal season is expected, particularly in the South.
    • In the areas where the October to December Deyr 2012 rains were poor, including the Sool Plateau and parts of Nugal Valley, the dry January to March Jilaal will likely lead to very fast exhaustion of water resources, especially since many berkads did not get refilled during this Deyr. Long distances to water points for livestock are likely to be observed due to the more limited water access as a result of the high cost of water trucking.


    • Current staple cereal prices are very low and likely to remain at that level following the above average January Deyr harvest. As planting cereals still requires significant costs in terms of labor, seeds, and other inputs, farmers in the surplus-producing areas for cereals such as Bay and Lower Shabelle are likely to plant more cash crops such as sesame, cowpeas, and groundnuts than usual during the April to June Gu 2013 season due to the high potential profits.
    • Demand for agricultural labor, particularly in maize-producing areas will likely decline  from normal during May and June as maize performance may be affected by average to below average rainfall totals, leading to a decrease in agricultural labor wage rates.


    • With the expected average to below average rainfall totals, grazing conditions are likely to be seasonally average, deteriorating some during the dry January to March Jilaal season, then improving following the start of the April to June Gu rains.
    • With average grazing conditions and likely no large-scale disease outbreaks, relatively good livestock body conditions are assumed to prevail through at least June.
    • Camel milk availability and access will likely to remain average in pastoral livelihood zones of central and northern Somalia as a result of normal expected rainfall, subsequent water availability, and pasture conditions.  
    • Livestock prices, particularly for goats and camels will seasonally increase from February through at least June as livestock exports to the Middle East slowly resume.

    Markets and trade:

    • Local sorghum and maize prices will likely increase slightly or remain stable at their current low levels from now until June due to the seasonal decreases freom the above average Deyr harvest, and a nearly fully stocked cereal markets from recent harvests and from humanitarian supplies. These prices will follow usual, seasonal trend of a slight increase with a peak in June before green consumption of Gu crops begins in July.
    • Declining international prices of vegetable oil, sugar, and diesel will likely contribute to reduced domestic prices of these commodities over the first half of the scenario from January to March 2013. International rice prices are likely to remain relatively stable through June as global rice production may reach record levels in the 2012 and 2013 marketing year, and imported rice prices in Somalia will continue to be relatively stable.
    • The Somali shilling (SOS) is likely to stabilize around SOS 20,000 for each U.S. dollar (USD) or continue to slightly appreciate against major foreign currencies due to continued growth of the economy of Mogadishu, relative stability in the country, and a limited supply of the Somali shilling.
    • The Somaliland shilling (SLSH) will likely remain stable as foreign currency earnings in the Somaliland shilling zone of the Northwest seasonally increase in anticipation of greater foreign currency earnings during the livestock export peak in September and October 2013.

    Humanitarian assistance:

    • Based on the Somalia food security cluster’s (FSC) intervention plans for January to March 2013, the planned figures for interventions that support livelihoods, improve access to food, or provide social safety nets have decreased from their December 2012 level, and overall, assistance will be assumed to moderately decrease during the January to March period.


    • Government of Somalia forces supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are likely to continue to increase the frequency and scale of maneuvers, primarily in the South. Also, less coordinated attacks and counter- maneuvers from armed groups in most parts of the South will continue. The conflict is likely to continue to restrict humanitarian access and disrupting trade and movements of people, including migrant laborers, and livestock in conflict affected-areas. The most affected areas are likely to be in Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions, Lower and Middle Juba Regions, and Gedo Region.
    • Middle and Lower Shabelle Regions are likely to be near the median (2001 to 2011) levels, and enter the Serious phase.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Rural Areas

    According to Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), an estimated 1.05 million people will remain in a food security Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 or 4) from February to June 2013. From January to March, most of Somalia will be in the Jilaal dry season. The productivity of livestock will seasonally decrease. Warmer temperatures forecast for this season are likely to lead to more rapid depletion of water sources and a decline 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 parts of the Nugal Valley in the Northeast. While no major changes in food security classification are expected between now and June, livelihoods in Somalia remain at risk to a wide variety of hazards.

    The most likely scenario assumes, based on early forecasts that the April to June 2013 Gu rains will be normal to below normal in amount with a nearly normal start. Normal or near normal Gu rainfall totals would allow many households to continue meeting their food needs, recover from previous crises, and build assets. However, a poorer season could increase the number of households in food security Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The below normal rains would primarily affect rainfed, maize-growing areas in southern Somalia as maize has higher water requirements than the other more common crops such as sorghum, cowpeas, and sesame. Agropastoral areas in Lower Juba region and the maize- growing, agropastoral areas of Gedo would witness the highest impact on food security, as these areas also had a poorer Deyr harvest than in the rest of the South.

    With average to below average rains, the overall Gu harvest in July and August is likely to be near average. When added to the the just completed Deyr harvest, using the five-year average for Gu crop production, domestic production would supply around 40 percent of total cereal needs for Somalia, a very near average amount. The rest of the cereal balance sheet (CBS) is made of commercially imported cereals and humanitarian food assistance. Using the three-year average of commercial cereal imports and the currently planned, funded, and likely level of humanitarian food assistance, the total CBS would still have an import gap of a one fifth of total cereal needs. This could be made up by subsequent increases in humanitarian food assistance or commercial imports before the end of 2013.

    Between February and June 2013, the food security outcomes in most pastoral livelihood zones in the central and northern regions are expected to remain stable at Stressed (IPC Phase 2). While this represents an improvement in some areas from previous outlooks, households continue to rely on food aid, formal and informal safety nets, and  self-employment, including the production of charcoal and firewood gathering, to meet their food and non-food needs. The outlook remains stable though, primarily, because of largely stable and seasonally normal trends in staple food prices and the expected further improvement in livestock to cereals ToT as demand for export quality livestock increases over the next several months. The continued favorable prices of livestock and livestock products due to demand both in local and export markets are expected to support continued favourable terms of trade.

    Based on crop harvest estimates for the January 2013 Deyr harvest, crop-dependent, poor households in Bay and Lower Shabelle Regions are expected to access their cereal needs for consumption from their own production and stocks through June. However, the rest of agropastoral and riverine areas in the country in southern Somalia will have only three to four months of cereal stocks, so they will need to start making market purchases during the scenario to supplement their stocks. The major exception are agropastoral households in Lower Juba Region who often have no stocks. Based on rainfall prospects for the April to June Gu 2013 rains providing for fairly normal seasonal progress and the improvements from the Deyr 2012, food security outcomes will remain stable through June 2013. However exceptions will be drought affected areas in the Northwest, the Sool Plateau in Sanag Region, parts of the Nugal Valley, and agropastoral areas of Lower and Middle Juba and Gedo Regions. In these areas, food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate and they would likely deteriorate more if the April to June Gu 2013 rains are below average.

    Urban Areas

    The population in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 or 4) in urban areas will remain unchanged at 152,000 people from February to June 2013. The key assumption behind the unchanging situation is the anticipated stability of local and imported food prices and the stable resulting cost of living, resulting from above average market food supplies from Deyr production, average commercial imports, and normal flows humanitarian food aid. The government may expand their control into more areas in the South, which will could further increase trade movements, humanitarian access, and economic activities.

    Nutrition Outcomes

    The nutrition situation outlook for February to April 2013 is inferred from current estimates of the nutritional situation, seasonal trends from data collected from 2001 to 2011, historical disease patterns, and projected food security trends for the February to April 2013 period. In general, the nutrition situation is likely to remain stable across the country in the coming three months with exceptions (Figure 7), as follows:

    • The Sool Plateau could deteriorate to the Serious phase, consistent with declining water availability during the Jilaal, associated declines in food security, and the typically seasonally elevated levels associated with the Jilaal.
    • Bakol, Hiran, and northern Gedo Regions are likely to be in the Critical phase, consistent with seasonally high levels. 
    • Middle and Lower Shabelle Regions are likely to be near the median (2001 to 2011) levels, and enter the Serious phase.

    Areas of Concern

    Lower Juba Agropastoral Livelihood Zone including Jamame District

    Current Situation

    Due to the late start significant below average total rainfall from the October to December Deyr rains in the agropastoral areas of Lower Juba, the Deyr harvest in January remained significantly below average (Figure 8). Maize crops largely failed to grow, so there is very little Deyr harvest, compounding the difficulty of food access caused by the very poor remaining household stocks from previous harvests. Lower Juba agropastoral livelihood zone in Afmadow, Hagar, and Jamame Districts experienced a near failure of Deyr maize production. Households also have livestock holdings below the baseline levels, which were recorded before 2005, to sell to fund market purchases of food. Households in the agropastoral areas of Jamame District in Lower Juba Region are mainly crop-dependent, so they have been the most affected by the poor production and have the fewest other resources to rely upon. This area is currently classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Camel milk prices in Lower Juba in regional reference markets decreased by 30 percent from December 2011 to December 2012. This indicates that camel milk is available in these markets at a higher level than last year. Cattle milk prices in Lower Juba have increased in December 2012 by 42 percent compared to the same time last year. These prices are also 11 percent above the five-year average, but they have significantly declined compared to the June and July prices by 58 and 32 percent, respectively. These trends in milk prices indicate increased cattle milk production and availability on markets compared to June and July.

    Local quality goat prices in December 2012 in the three main agropastoral markets of Afmadow, Jamame, and Hagar had been decreasing since October 2012 following seasonal trends. However, local quality goat prices in December were still 32 higher than at the same time last year and 49 percent above the five-year average. In these markets,the local quality goat to white maize terms of trade (ToT) have remained relatively stable throughout 2012, but in December 2012, they are 131 higher than the same time in 2011 and 39 percent above the five- year average. Similarly, the daily, casual labor wage rate to white maize terms of trade (ToT) decreased from July to December 2012, but it was higher than in December 2011 and the five-year average by 100 and 14 percent, respectively. The current debt level for poor households is estimated between USD 100 and 150, a decrease from the USD 140 to 200 levels recorded from October to December 2011. Locally produced cereal prices in Lower Juba agropastoral have remained stable since November 2012 and are following typical seasonal trends despite the locally poor production prospects and subsequently below average harvest. Based on these factors, coupled with current insecurity and limited humanitarian assistance,  poor  households  in  Jamame  District  which  is  the  main  maize  producing  area  in  Lower  Juba  Region have significant food consumption gaps, and they are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, other agropastoral aeas of this livelihood zone, which are more livestock dependent, are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    No representative SMART nutrition survey was conducted in Lower Juba agropastoral livelihood zone beween October and December 2013. However, SMART assessment measuring middle-upper arm circumference (MUAC) in November recorded 14.4 percent of children under five with MUAC below 12.5 centimenters (cm) and 2.4 percent below 11.5 cm. These rates are categorized as Likely Very Critical.


    In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumptions have been made about agropastoral areas in Lower Juba:

    • Insecurity is likely to be high in this region between February and June with likely clashes between Government of Somalia forces supported by AMISOM and armed groups organized around single clans or coalitions of clans.
    • Insecurity will likely reduce trade movements, including the profitable southern export route for cattle and small ruminants into Kenya and lead to increased displacement within the region, increasing the number of IDPs.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Average to below average rainfall will likely result in limited water availability and less water than necessary to meet maize water requirements. Given limited resources going into the season, many households are likely to plant a below average area. This, along with a lack of stocks to use for payment or cash for labor, will reduce demand for agricultural labor during planting and weeding during the April to June Gu rains. As poor households lack stocks from the Deyr harvest or from previous seasons, they will depend on market purchases of food. To fund these purchases, the quantity of livestock sold will increase, reducing poor households’ herd sizes through distress sales. However, between January and March 2013, poor households’ income will likely remain relatively stable due to the limited income from livestock and milk sales. From April to June 2013, the income of poor households will be well below normal though as usually households would have some income from labor related to land preparation, planting, and weeding for the ongoing Gu season.

    As a result of poor stocks from own production from the Deyr season, decreased labor incomes during the Gu season, and the typical, seasonal changes associated with the April to June lean season, food consumption will decline over the course of February to June. Poor households’ access to milk will decrease as livestock become less productive during the dry season, resulting in nutritional deterioration. Green maize and green cowpeas were not available as they normally would have been in January, so households already have very little of their own produced food to consume. Food consumption gaps have likely already started to occur, and households are likely to limit consumption through June. Increased cereal commodity prices, increasing civil insecurity, and further asset losses are possible. Trade disruptions related to insecurity may further reduce market supply and are likely to lead to displacement. This can result in livelihood change  as agropastoral households are forced into urban areas in search of assistance, security, and labor opportunities. During both the dry January to March Jilaal season and the April to June agricultural lean season, food consumption gaps will gradually increase, despite some milk availability. Access to food for poor households will further deteriorate, but it is unlikely to exceed Crisis (IPC Phase 3) though the number of household who will face the increasing food consumption gaps will likely increase. Areas outside of Jamame District are expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to their higher reliance on livestock-related income sources.

    Guban Pastoral Livelihood Zone in the Northwest

    Current Situation

    Following successive dry seasons since late 2010, Guban pastoral livelihood zone received below average Hays rains in December 2012. In Zeylac and eastern Berbera Districts, no rains were received in December. As a result of the below average Hays rains, pasture conditions did slightly improve, resulting in slightly improved livestock body conditions. Livestock production and milk availability are still poor as a result of multiple poor seasons and declining livestock holdings.

    In December 2012, local quality goat prices in Lawyado market were 18, 24, and 6 percent above December 2011, the five- year average, and July 2012, respectively. Despite the slight increase livestock prices over the past six months, there are an increasingly limited number of saleable livestock reported by assessment teams.

    In December 2012, the imported rice price was 11, six, and 11 percent above the same time last year, the five-year average, and July 2012, respectively. Rising rice prices and a declining number of saleable livestock have resulted in households increasingly purchasing food with credit. Debt levels for poor households ranging between USD 170 and 200, much higher than a mnore typical debt level around USD 100 or previously recorded maximums of around USD 150. Due to parallel increases in cereals and livestock prices, the terms of trade were mostly stable as they only increased five percent between December 2011 and December 2012. While terms of trade have not deteriorated over the past year, the purchasing power of poor households is still unable to support adequate food access as there are few livestock to sell.

    In reaction to November to December 2012 civil insecurity due to a disputed local government election in November 2012 in Zeylac District, the Government of Djibouti had closed the border crossing at Lawyado. For the past year, households have been depending heavily on labor migration to Djibouti as a key source of income. With the traditional labor migration route to Djibouti now heavily limited, income for the poor households is declining.

    According to FSNAU and partners representative SMART nutrition survey conducted in November and December 2012, the malnutrition rate in Guban pastoral livelihood zone has reduced from the Very Critical to Critical levels compared to the previous July 2012 survey. The GAM rate was 17.3 percent (confidence interval (CI) 13.5 to 21.9 percent), and the SAM rate was 2.1 percent (CI 1.3 to 6.0 percent). The crude mortality rate (CMR) and under-five mortality rate (<5MR) are 0.11 (CI 0.03 to 0.34) per 10,000 people and 0.32 (CI 0.10 to 1.31) per 10,000 people, respectively. The somewhat improved nutrition situation in the livelihood zone is likely due to short-lived milk availability from August to October 2012 following camel births and an increase in humanitarian assistance.

    Poor households in Guban pastoral livelihood zone make up nearly 30 percent of all households. They are only meeting basic food needs marginally with accelerated depletion of their livestock, their key livelihood assets, and humanitarian assistance. They are therefore currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).


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

    • The livestock conception rate will likely be low as a result of lack of nutrients and limited pasture availability due to below average December to January Hays rains.
    • Increased inter-clan tension in Zeylac District is likely to continue and further incidences of conflict are likely.
    • The border closure by Djibouti is likely to remain effect, limiting cross-border labor migration and as a result, decreasing income from remittances.
    • Household debt levels are likely to increase to purchase food, but the better off and traders will eventually stop offering additional credit lines to poor households as they are unable to make repayments or enough payments to reopen lines of credit.
    • The April to June Gu rains over the Golis mountains will likely generate some limited runoff water to the coastal plains of Guban pastoral livelihood zone.
    • Malnutrition rates will likely increase during the Jilaal dry season following a normal, though more severe seasonal pattern of increasing during the dry season.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Saleable livestock are limited and their numbers will be reduced by further livestock sales. Distress livestock sales will occur to access food from February to June 2013. However, the overall income from livestock will be lower than in typical year due to the poor conditions of the livestock, hence the number of livestock sold will be higher than normal. Access to cash through remittances will decline due to conflict and closure of the border with Djibouti border, which will result in a reduction in labor migration. The most affected would be those who temporarily migrate for labor in Djibouti during the January to March Jilaal season. Conflict between clans related to the disputed local election may also limit labor access in Djibouti, possibly causing some labor migrants to need to return to northwestern Somalia, depending on their  clan affiliation and the clan affiliation of those offering labor opportunities in Djibouti.

    Deteriorated livestock body condition will result in decreased local quality goat to cereal terms of trade between February and June. Consequently, poor households’ purchasing power and access to basic food purchases will continue to decline. Limited humanitarian assistance and limited milk availability will likely negatively affect nutritional status. The malnutrition rate is expected to increase above what would be expected seasonally.

    Between February and March, poor households will remain classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) even accounting for the presence of some humanitarian assistance. Between April and June 2013, some run-off water from Golis Mountains is expected to relieve the areas of most severe water shortages, but this will not be sufficient water for both livestock and human consumption. During this time, poor households will engage in negative coping strategies such as selling camels. Access to food will likely be minimal. Households are likely to consume only or less than four food groups of cereals, sugar, oil, and milk. The proportion of the population in Crises (IPC Phase 3) will likely increase between now and June, but the area classification will remain at Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    IDP settlements

    Current Situation

    From October to December 2012, FSNAU and partners carried out joint food security and nutrition assessments in ten IDP settlements, seven in the North in Hargeisa, Berbera, Burco, Bossaso, Qardho, Garowe, and Galakayo. Two in the South in Banadir Region (Mogadishu) and Baidoa. Two stand-alone nutrition surveys were also conducted in IDP settlements in Kismayo and Dolo. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates 1.1 to 1.36 million IDPs are displaced as of January 2013.

    The proportion of households with poor food consumption as defined by the Food Consumption Score (FCS) varies from 34 to 58 percent in different regions of the Northwest and from 51 to 74 percent in the Northeast. The proportions of IDP households with poor consumption were 62 and 44 percent in Dhusamareb and Banadir, respectively. Regardless of food consumption groups, the majority of IDPs live in sub-optimal, non-permanent housing such as tarpaulin-constructed houses in all of the assessed settlements--around half of IDP households in the Northwest and the central regions, 66 percent in the Northeast, and 99 percent in Banadir. The remaining IDPs in the settlements live in still fragile shelters made of corrugated sheets or occupy rooms in abandoned public or government buildings. There is no significant difference in the housing conditions between the short-term IDPs who have been in the settlements less than a year and the longer-term IDPs who have lived over a year in a settlements.

    IDPs have poor asset bases with an average of only one asset type per household such as a mobile phone, wheelbarrow, or tool for skilled work tools. The majority of IDP households reported having only one income source and one income-earning member per household. The key sources of income reported are casual, unskilled labour, petty trade, and self-employment activities. Due to low level of income-earning opportunities, many IDPs remain unable to purchase the CMB, despite its declining total cost in nominal terms. The studies revealed that largest portion of an IDP household’s monthly budget went to food and water purchases, averaging between 75 and 80 percent of their total expenditures. IDPs with poor food consumption in Burco, Qardho, Galkayo, and Banadir Region (Mogadishu) also have high level of outstanding debts from previous purchases of food and water.

    The nutrition situation in most of the settlements assessed were classified as Critical. However, IDPs in Dolo, Kismayo, Dhusamareb, and Bossaso were classified in the Very Critical nutrition situation level while the IDPs in Hargeisa in the Northwest, Garowe in the Northeast, and Baidoa in the South were classified as Serious. IDPs in Dolo and Dobley are particularly affected with very high reported morbidity with over 40 percent of children reporting sickness over the past two weeks. There is also an elevated level of crude mortality of 1.27 deaths per 10,000 people per day which is Serious based on UNICEF 2005 classification.

    Around half of these IDPs, about 615,000 people in various settlements are currently classified to be in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4). Seven out of the ten assessed settlements, Berbera, Burco, Bossaso, Qardho, Garowe, Galakayo, and Banadir Region (Mogadishu) were classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). However, IDPs in Hargeisa, Garowe, and Baidoa towns were classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Due to lack of more extensive population statistics at the settlement level, estimates of the exact number of IDPs at each phase were not possible. Instead, FSNAU assigned the dominant IPC phase classification for each of the settlements assessed as this would encompass at least 20 percent of the population.


    No additional assumptions to the national assumptions described above were made.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Without a substantial increase in humanitarian assistance, most of the IDP settlements in the country are likely to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) from February to June. Due to their dependency on the market for food purchases, limited income-earning options, and poor asset base, IDPs will be unable to afford sufficient quanitites of food and other basic needs. The high acute malnutrition rates among the under-five children, classified as Critical to Serious, is unlikely to change in the projection period without significant increases in multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance.

    Events that Might Change the Outlook



    Impact on food security outcomes

    Agropastoral areas of Lower Juba and Gedo Regions

    A late start or well below average total rainfall for the April to June 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 or 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 Emergency (IPC Phase 4) level of food insecurity with little or none of their own production and limited income to purchase food by June or July 2012.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET Somalia

    Figure 1. Current rural food security outcomes, January 2013

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Current rural food security outcomes, January 2013

    Source: FSNAU, FEWS NET Somalia, and partners Graphic: FSNAU

    Figure 3: Food Consumption Scores in urban areas, December 2012

    Figure 3

    Figure 3: Food Consumption Scores in urban areas, December 2012

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 4: Daily labor wage to cereal terms of trade (ToT) by trade basin, December 2007 to December 2012

    Figure 4

    Figure 4: Daily labor wage to cereal terms of trade (ToT) by trade basin, December 2007 to December 2012

    Source: FSNAU/FEWS NET

    Figure 5: Food expenditures as a percentage of total expenditures in IDP settlements, October to December 2012

    Figure 5

    Figure 5: Food expenditures as a percentage of total expenditures in IDP settlements, October to December 2012

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 6. Current nutrition situation, January 2013, based on November and December 2012 surveys

    Figure 6

    Figure 6. Current nutrition situation, January 2013, based on November and December 2012 surveys

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 7. Nutrition outlook, February to April 2013

    Figure 7

    Figure 7. Nutrition outlook, February to April 2013

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 8. Rainfed cropped area Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in Lower Juba Region

    Figure 8

    Figure 8. Rainfed cropped area Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in Lower Juba Region

    Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) / FEWS NET

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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