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Population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely increase in Somalia through October

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Somalia
  • June 2014
Population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely increase in Somalia through October

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Situation
  • Updated Assumptions
  • Updated Outlook Through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Agropastoral areas of Hiraan, northern Gedo, Bakool, and Middle Juba deteriorated to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in June and are likely to remain there through at least October. The below-average Gu harvest in August, extremely high and rising cereal prices, and intensified insecurity are reducing poor households’ purchasing power.
    • In areas with trade restrictions, both locally produced and imported cereal prices rose steeply from April to May and are likely to continue increasing. Across South-Central Somalia, staple food prices are likely to increase between now and September, a trend that will reduce poor households’ purchasing power.
    • Food security in coastal areas of the central and northeastern regions will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through October as a result of a hot and prolonged dry spell in April to June, which resulted in poor livestock production and values, reduced income, and livestock losses.

    Current Situation
    • From late May to mid-June, rainfall remained generally below average. The central regions, Bakool, Gedo, Middle Juba, Hiraan, and some parts of the Northwest received very light showers or no rain. However, pastoral areas in the Northeast, Sanaag, Sool, and Agropastoral and pastoral areas in Bay, Lower Juba, and the Shabelle Regions received moderate to light rains with near average distribution, but it was infrequent and of short duration. Rains ceased earlier than usual in late May in most of the central regions and in agropastoral areas of the South including in Bakool, Gedo, Middle Juba, and Hiraan. The rains also ceased early in the agropastoral areas of the Northwest and in the Hawd in Burao and Hargeisa Districts. However, moderate to light rains continued in early June in some parts of the Northwest, the Northeast, Sool, Sanaag, Lower Shabelle, and the Juba Regions.
    • Crop establishment was lower than usual due to moisture stress as a result of dry spells in late April and between late May and early June in agropastoral areas in Bakool, Gedo, Hiraan, the cowpea belt, and Middle Juba. Much of the crop did not become established due to unreliable rains. No replanting took place. Insecurity reduced the area planted to below normal, particularly in Hudur District in Bakool Region, Qoryoley District in Lower Shabelle, Garharrey in Gedo, Buloburte in Hiraan, and Central Agropastoral livelihood zone. Trade restrictions limited access to inputs such as fuel and seeds in riverine areas in Buloburte and Jalalqsi Districts in Hiraan and Qoryoley District in Lower Shabelle, reducing planted area. In the Northwest, due to poor Gu rains, short-cycle maize and sorghum were not planted in Togdheer Agropastoral and Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zones in Awdal and Hargeisa and Gabiley Districts in Woqooyi Galbeed. Fodder production in Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone has also not performed well. Normally timed crop development is reported in most riverine areas in the Shabelles, Gedo, and the Jubas. Insecurity has curtailed access to the dhasheks/swamplands in Afmadow District in Lower Juba, likely preventing agricultural activities from taking place. Crops are also mostly normal in the dhasheks/swamplands in the Jubas and in agropastoral areas in Bay. Maize crops can be found at the vegetative, flowering, and tasseling stages in different areas.
    • Pasture availability is near average in most pastoral and agropastoral areas. However, pasture availability did not fully recover this rainy season in Gedo, Hiraan, Mudug, parts of Bakool, Bari, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone. Pasture availability is also below average due to low rainfall in agropastoral areas in Gabiley District, the Hawd in Burao District, parts of East-Golis, the Gabi Valley, and localized areas of Sanaag. In these areas, livestock have been migrated to neighboring areas. Water availability improved in most rainfed areas, but due to insufficient refilling of water points during the rains, water trucking has already started again in Gedo, Bakool, and the central regions.
    • Average-to-good livestock body conditions are observable in most areas. However, livestock body conditions among milking females have started to deteriorate in some of the areas where the rainfall was below average in the central regions, the North, and agropastoral areas of the South including in Bakool, Gedo, and Hiraan. Camel calving started in June. A medium rate of kidding and lambing were reported in all pastoral areas of the North and central regions. However, two areas had a lower rate. In both Coastal Deeh Pastoral in the central regions and Sool Plateau Pastoral livelihood zone in Sanaag Region, a notable number of goat and sheep abortions occurred during the extended dry January to March Jilaal as the rains started late in these areas. Unusual death of kids, lambs, and camel calves were reported in May in the Hawd in both the North and the central regions.
    • In addition to locally produced cereal prices following their seasonal trend of increasing, prices increased more sharply from March this year and in May reached their highest levels since the 2011 and 2008 peaks. In Wanlaweyn, the red sorghum price in May 2014 was even higher than in 2008 and was 140 percent higher than last May. Sorghum prices in May in Beledweyne in Hiraan and Hudur in Bakool were the second highest prices recorded after 2011. Cereal price increases are likely attributable to high taxation, double taxation of the commodities in many areas, insecurity which has limited access to markets, and limited stocks.
    • Insecurity continues to limit trade. Renewed inter-clan conflict in Lower Shabelle has resulted in further displacement and loss of lives and assets.

    Updated Assumptions

    The current situation has not affected most of the assumptions used in FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for April to September 2014 as updated in the May Food Security Outlook Update. However, the following assumptions have been updated:

    • In previous reports, it was assumed that the June to August Hagaa coastal rains would be near average. Based on more recent forecasts, they are now assumed to be near average to above average in terms of total rainfall.
    • With tight supplies and a delayed harvest, last month it was assumed that prices of locally produced grain would not decline until August. With further delays to the harvest in some areas, this is likely to not happen until September. However, in markets with trade restrictions and where both locally produced and imported commodities are less available, prices are likely to continue their steep increases over the coming months, at least in the markets where trade restrictions remain in place.
    • As in previous months, conflict between the government supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Al Shabaab is expected to continue and reduce trade and population movements in Lower Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, Hiraan, and Galgaduud. However, in addition to this conflict, the renewed outbreak of inter-clan conflict, particularly in Lower Shabelle, is also likely to limit trade, population movement, and agricultural activities during the June to August Hagaa season.

    Updated Outlook Through September 2014
    • Overall, a below average Gu harvest is expected in August. Overall, in the high-productivity areas in Bay and Lower Shabelle, most areas will have a near average harvest. The harvest will be the furthest below average in agropastoral areas in Middle Juba, Bakool, Hiraan, and Gedo. In Lower Juba’s agropastoral areas in Jamame, Jilib, Kismayo, and Badhadhe Districts, the crop harvest is expected in late August, and it is likely to be only slightly below average due to near average June to July Hagaa rains. The off-season harvest in September/October is also likely to be near average in Lower and Middle Juba’s dhasheks and riverine areas in Gedo. Cowpea production in the central regions will likely be far below average as much of the crop wilted in May/June.
    • In the areas where trade restrictions continue, the availability of imported cereals is likely to decrease. This is placing upward pressure on locally produced cereal prices. The rising cereal prices rise will likely reduce the purchasing power of poor households. With the increasing prices, access to food will decrease. While rising prices are likely in both riverine and agropastoral areas, poor households in agropastoral areas will likely sell some of their livestock and seek some loans, increasing their debt levels. This will extend the lean season in agropastoral areas until mid-to-late July when green consumption begins. Despite some additional food from the Gu harvest, supplies will be limited, and food security in some agropastoral areas in the South will likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until at least October.
    • Intensified inter-clan conflict in Lower Shabelle will likely continue, adding another form of insecurity to a highly insecure area in the South. The increased insecurity is likely to reduce Hagaa season crop production, usually harvested in September/October in coastal areas. Trade movements will likely remain restricted through October. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) will likely rise. The disruption of trade movements, below average agricultural production, and increased number of IDPs will likely reduce wage rates due to competition from IDPs in some areas and reduced agricultural labor demand, thus reducing labor to cereal terms of trade.
    • Food security will likely continue to deteriorate in Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone, Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Gedo and Middle Juba, Bakool Agropastoral livelihood zone, and Bay-Bakool Agropastoral Low-Potential livelihood zone in Bakool Region. Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central and northeastern regions will also have food security deterioration through October due to increased market purchases and low milk production. In the cowpea-producing area of Central Agropastoral livelihood zone, food security will also likely deteriorate through October. Jowhar District in Middle Shabelle will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least September and maybe longer.
    • However, in Lower Shabelle, the most affected population through October will likely be the urban poor and IDPs in urban areas. In Qoryoley, Kurtunwarey, and Sablale, the conflicts have led to an increasing number of IDPs who have fled conflict in rural areas and come into these towns. The reduced trade movements, both due to the conflict and due to trade restrictions and high transaction costs, have effectively led to drastic reduction of supplies coming into these markets and consequently very high prices. For example, from March to May, the price of white maize in Qoryoley increased 52 percent. Since the beginning of the conflict in April, the conflict has not abated and neither side appears willing to withdraw. The urban poor will have below normal access to employment opportunities, and their daily, casual labor rates will likely decrease. With rising prices and falling incomes, some households may face Emergency (IPC Phase 4), especially if towns were to remain cut off from trade for long periods of time.
    • Rural communities will likely also be affected by insecurity. Access to food from market purchases will decline to below typical through October as a result both of rising prices and falling incomes and less harvest from the Gu. Several agropastoral areas including Hiraan Agropastoral, Southern Agropastoral in Gedo and Middle Juba, Bakool Agropastoral, and Bay-Bakool Agropastoral Low-Potential in Bakool, along with Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central and northeastern regions will likely shift from the May 2014 classification of Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from June to October as a result of reduced income, well below average own food production from the Gu due to erratic and significantly below average rainfall in May/June, and high prices as a result of trade restrictions and increased insecurity since May. Also, an increasing number of poor households will move into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) during this time period, even in areas that remain at lower classifications.
    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Source:

    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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