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Nearly 860,000 people remain acutely food insecure in Somalia

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Somalia
  • February - June 2014
Nearly 860,000 people remain acutely food insecure in Somalia

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  • Key Messages
  • National overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events that might change the outlook
  • Partner
    Key Messages
    • An estimated 857,000 people will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) requiring urgent humanitarian assistance between February and June 2014.
    • The food security condition of over two million additional people remains fragile and are currently classified at Stressed (IPC Phase 2). This group of households will barely be able to meet their own minimal food requirements through mid-2014, and they remain highly vulnerable to shocks that could lead to more severe acute food insecurity.
    • Food security outcomes for poor households in cyclone-affected areas of the Northeast region, and flood affected areas in Middle Shabelle who are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance. In these areas, significant asset losses and loss of access to markets, land, and fishing areas has severely reduced access to food.
    • Levels of acute malnutrition remain Critical (defined as global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates exceeding 15 percent) among rural populations in many parts of South-Central Somalia and among a majority of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). An estimated 203,000 children under the age of five are currently acutely malnourished. Of these, 51,000 are severely malnourished and thus face a higher risk of death.

    National overview
    Current Situation

    Rural Areas

    Food security outcomes improved slightly due to enhanced livestock production and value, increased milk availability, and continued humanitarian interventions as well as increased cash crop production in many part of the country (Figure 1). Rivers flooded in riverine areas of Jowhar District in Middle Shabelle from September to December and in Jamame District in Lower Juba and in most riverine areas in Middle Juba Region in November. In November, a tropical cyclone led to flash floods in some parts of Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Sool Plateau Pastoral livelihood zones in Bari and Nugal Regions. Below normal October to December 2013 Deyr rains in most of the Juba Valley, some parts of Lower Shabelle, and Beletweyne District in Hiraan Region resulted in a below average cereal harvest in those areas, leading to smaller than usual levels of household food stocks. As a result, the affected areas of Middle Shabelle and Middle Juba have deteriorated to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (Figure 2), according to the latest data gathered by Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), a project managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), and other partners in December 2013.

    The October to December 2013 Deyr rains exhibited different patterns across the country in terms of temporal and spatial distribution and were of varying total amounts:

    • Northwest: Most of West Golis and Guban Pastoral livelihood zones received unusual, moderate rains in November followed by average Xays rains in December and January, which largely alleviated the dry ground conditions that have persisted since 2010. The October to December Deyr rains were average to above average across the Northwest. They were also well distributed except in pockets in Sool and Sanaag Regions where rains were more erratic and poorly distributed.
    • Northeast: Rainfall performance in most pastoral livelihood zones was fairly average to above average and evenly distributed. In mid-November, Tropical Cyclone Three led to flash floods in some parts of Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Sool Plateau Pastoral livelihood zones in Bari and Nugal Regions, causing losses of human lives and livestock, damage or loss of fishing gear, destruction of roads, shallow wells, and other infrastructure.
    • Central regions: Rainfall in most of the Hawd and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones were erratic in terms of amount, frequency, and distribution. Average volume of rainfall was reported in the cowpea-growing areas of Central Agropastoral livelihood zone and in Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions.
    • South: Widely distributed, near normal to normal rains fell in most pastoral and cropping areas. There were exceptions in most of the Jubas, some parts of Gedo, Lower Shabelle, and Hiraan where rains were below normal and were insufficient for normal crop development.

    Overall, the Deyr cereal harvest of sorghum and maize from December to February including off-season production in riverine areas expected in March was estimated to total nearly 87,800 metric tons (MT). This is 14 percent below the 2002 to 2012 post-war average (PWA) (15-year average) and 19 percent below the five-year average. Below average cereal production is the result primarily of well below average production in Middle Shabelle due to river flooding and conflict, in the Jubas due to river flooding and dry growing conditions in agropastoral areas, and above average planted area for sesame displacing cereal crops in Lower Shabelle due to the expected high returns on sesame and still fairly low local cereal prices. An estimated 29,800 MT and 10,800 MT of sesame and cowpeas, respectively, are being harvested this season. These high value crops were mainly harvested in Lower Shabelle and Bay Regions. In Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zone, cereal production from the Gu/Karan harvest in November/December was estimated to 44,000 MT of grain, which is 62 percent of the 2010 to 2012 three-year average. Poor households’ cereal stocks were near average in the Shabelles and Bay Region. However, in agropastoral areas of Beletweyne District in Hiraan, agropastoral and riverine areas in Middle Juba, and riverine areas in Jowhar District in Middle Shabelle, households are currently still purchasing from the market or relying on humanitarian assistance, especially in Jowhar, in the post-harvest period due to well below average local production.

    Rangeland conditions in most pastoral livelihoods zones in the country are near average, except in localized areas in Sanaag Region, Addun Pastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions, and Lower and Middle Juba where October to December Deyr rainfall was below average in terms of amount. However, livestock are benefiting from pasture having been available for the past two rainy and dry seasons. Also, mostly typical, seasonal migration patterns have been observed. Due to below normal rains in parts of the Hawd, Addun Pastoral, localized areas in Coastal Deeh Pastoral in the central regions, pockets of the Sool Plateau in Sanaag, Gedo, and the Jubas, water catchments were only partially filled during the rains. Earlier than normal water purchases are expected to have started in February in the affected areas.

    With both pasture and water availability having increased over the course of the October to December Deyr rains, livestock body conditions improved in most of the country. Purchasing power measured through terms of trade (ToT) between a local quality goat and cereals have remained favorable for pastoralists and in January were above their five-year averages. Cereal prices have been higher than last year, and local-quality goat prices have been slightly lower than last year. However, exceptions are found in Bay and Bakool Regions where goat prices anomalously declined more than usual in December. However, livestock prices are, generally, well above their five-year averages and following the typical seasonal trends of slight decreases this time of year in most of the country. Despite the decline in livestock to cereals terms of trade, they continue to support food access for households that need to exchange goats for local cereals or rice.

    In pastoral and agropastoral areas in October and November, most livestock species either conceived or were milking. In December 2013, livestock holdings and herd sizes for poor households had increased across all species since July 2013. Overall, reported herd sizes in December 2013 were still near or below household economy baseline profile levels recorded between 2007 and 2011. However, in Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone in Lower Juba, herd sizes are higher than baseline levels from 2007.

    In mid-November, Tropical Cyclone Three hit the coast in Eyl, Dangorayo (formerly part of Qardho), and Bander-Beyla Districts in Bari Region and the Sool Plateau in Dangorayo District in Nugal Region. A significant number of livestock died of hypothermia, and fishing gear was damaged or lost in the storm.

    Casual labor wages are the major source of income that facilitate market based access to food for poor households. December 2013 Terms of Trade (TOT) between daily casual labor wages to cereals are above five-year averages and remain favorable for both rural and urban daily laborers, despite a decline since July 2013 in some areas.

    Five consecutive seasons of average to above average rains since the October to December 2011 Deyr through the recently completed October to December 2013 Deyr have enhanced pasture and water conditions and significantly improved livestock value and reproduction rates in Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone. As a result, poor households and a portion of previously destitute households have gradually rebuilt their livestock assets and returned to pastoralism. A nutrition assessment conducted in December based on mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) indicated a Serious nutrition situation with 7.8 percent of children under five years of age classified as being acutely malnourished--defined as MUAC less than 12.5 centimeters (cm). This indicates a stable nutrition situation since July 2013 but better results than the Critical levels in December 2012. Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) despite some improvement in poor households’ access to food.

    As a result of increased cash crop cultivation, enhanced livestock production and reproduction, favorable livestock prices, and positive casual daily labor rates, food security outcomes for most rural livelihoods of the country have improved since July 2013 in spite of a below average 2013/14 Deyr cereal harvest. Most rural areas of the country are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2), but there are many poor households that still remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Exceptions to the general improvements since July are found in Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone, riverine areas in Middle Juba, Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone, riverine areas in Jowhar District in Middle Shabelle Region, and cyclone-affected areas of Nugal and Bari Regions in the Northeast. These areas remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Urban Areas

    From July to December 2013, food security outcomes improved in urban areas, similar to the trend seen in rural areas. Despite a below average Deyr 2013/14 cereal production, both local sorghum and maize prices remained low compared to peaks of previous years and relatively stable in December. Declining or stable international prices continue to be transmitted to urban markets for rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, and diesel.

    The Somali shilling (SOS) and Somaliland shilling (SLSH) exchange rate against the United States dollar (USD) remained higher in 2013 than in 2012. This is probably due to continued growth of the economy, relative stability, and the limited supply of the Somali shilling (SOS).

    The consumer price index (CPI) in Somalia is measured through changes in the cost of the minimum expenditure basket (MEB). In November/December, CPI slightly increased, primarily as a result of seasonal sorghum price increases, but it has generally remained stable since December 2012.

    From July 2013 to December 2013, the cost of the minimum expenditure basket (CMB) remained stable in central and northern regions except in Mudug and Woqooyi Galbeed Regions where 13 and 11 percent increases were recorded, respectively. In the South, CMB increased between 9 to 24 percent, but in Banadir (Mogadishu) and Hiraan Regions, it remained stable. In southern and central Somalia, the increase in port activity in Mogadishu, falling imported commodity prices, and below average local cereal prices have meant that CMB and thus the cost of living has only modestly increased since July and in some areas it is more or less stable.

    While the CMB provides a guide to the overall cost of living, the actual purchasing power of the urban poor can be approximated through the terms of trade (ToT) between casual, daily labor wages and cereals. In most regions from July 2013 to December 2013, the ToT between daily, casual labor wages and locally grown cereals decreased (Figure 3). In most regions of the South, the ToT decreased between two and seven kilograms (kg) per day, meaning a casual laborer’s wages for one day would purchase less red sorghum or white maize in December 2013 than it did in July 2013. The labor to cereals ToT decreased from one to seven kg per day in other parts of the South, in the central regions, and in the Northeast. The highest decrease was in Gedo and Mudug Regions where there was a substantial decline of six and seven kg equivalent of grain less per day of work from July to December. However, an increase of one to two kg was observed in Awdal, Sanaag, Lower Shabelle, Bay, and Lower Juba Regions. The December 2013 ToT ranged from 6 to 14 kg per day in the South with the exception of Bay Region where one day’s wage could purchase as much as 21 kg of red sorghum. In the Central Regions, the  December 2013 daily wage to local cereal ToT were around three to seven kg of grain. They ranged from five to seven kg in the Northeast and seven to 14 kg in the Northwest. Overall, the December 2013 daily labor wage to locally produced cereal ToT are significantly above their five-year averages except in Hiraan, Gedo, Nugal, and Middle Shabelle Regions where ToT remained near their five-year averages. Only in Mudug was ToT below the five-year average (Figure 3).

    The urban poor continue to spend most of their expenditures on food, often above 75 percent of total household expenditure. This means households are vulnerable both to spikes in prices and to drops in their income (Figure 5). Among the urban poor, expenditure on food as a proportion of total household expenditure was highest in Lower Juba and South Mudug at over 80 percent (Figure 4).

    From July to December 2013, the urban population estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) reduced from 45,000 to 32,000 people. An estimated 782,000 urban people are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). All of the urban population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is in the South. Out of the total urban population classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2), 37 percent are in the South, 58 percent in the North, and five percent in the central regions.

    Settlements of internally displaced persons (IDPs)

    From October to December 2013, FSNAU and partners conducted nutrition and food security assessments in thirteen of the larger IDP settlements. 13 percent of IDPs arrived in the settlements within the last year. Dhobley, Mogadishu, and Baidoa hosted the highest percentage of recent IDPs at 33, 28, and 24 percent, respectively. Due to improved labor wages to cereals terms of trade (ToT), a normal supply of both imported and local food commodities, and access to humanitarian interventions, food security improved in most IDP settlements. A large proportion of IDP households consumed four or more food groups, an indicator of improved food access compared to other recent surveys. However, a large portion of IDPs in Dolow and Kismayo consumed fewer than four food groups. Most of the IDP households have a single income source, typically casual labor, but in Baidoa, Kismayo, Hargeysa, and Burao, two to three income sources were more common (Figure 5).

    At least 60 percent of IDP households owned very few assets. IDPs have very limited diversity in their sources of income, and they held high levels of debt. A majority of the IDPs assessed did have access to potable water. However, in Kismayo, Dolow, and Bosasso, between 11 and 36 percent of households had access to safe water. An estimated 635,000 IDPs throughout the country are currently in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phases 3 or 4).

    Nutritional Status

    Based on the results from Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and partners’ nutrition assessments conducted from November 2013 through January 2014, the nutrition situation remained unchanged in most of the country (Figure 6). However, prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) increased among IDPs in Qardho and Berbera. The median GAM was 14.2 percent suggesting a stable nutrition situation as it was 14.4 percent in July. The deterioration of the nutritional status of IDPs in Qardho was likely due to an increase in morbidity. 46 percent of households reported morbidity compared to 22 percent in July 2013. For IDPs in Berbera, the high GAM prevalence seen in January 2014 reflects seasonal trends as well as likely poor infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices demonstrated in the low dietary diversity among children. Compared to December 2012, there has been no change in GAM prevalence in most livelihood zones, though GAM increased among IDPs in Garowe. Critical GAM levels were more prevalent among children in IDP settlements at 16 percent and in southern Somalia at 15 percent, compared to the other regions and populations in Somalia.

    Severe acute malnutrition (SAM): SAM prevalence was higher in areas that also had high GAM prevalence, and there was a significant and positive correlation between GAM and SAM of 0.73. Critical SAM levels, defined as above 4.5 percent were observed among IDPs in Dolow and Qardho and in agropastoral areas in Bay. Serious SAM levels, defined as between 3.5 and 4.4 percent, were seen in IDPs in Dobley, Berbera, and Garowe and in Beletweyne District in Hiraan. Compared to July 2013, SAM prevalence increased among IDPs in Dolow and Qardho.

    Mortality and morbidity: GAM and SAM prevalence did not show any significant association with mortality or morbidity. In children under the age of five, mortality was acceptable in most regions. In Beletweyne District, there were Serious levels, defined as an under-five death rate between 2.0 and 3.9 percent. Morbidity exceeding 50 percent was recorded in Beletweyne, Mataban, and among IDPs in Dolow.

    Chronic malnutrition: The median stunting rate was 14 percent, suggesting that stunting it is not a major public health problem in Somalia. However pockets of high stunting, defined as above 30 percent, were seen in agropastoral areas in Bay Region, in Beletweyne District and among IDPs in Baidoa, Kismayo, and Qardho. A positive association of 0.33 was found between the GAM prevalence and stunting and of 0.45 between SAM and stunting. This suggests that acute malnutrition occurs among children who are already chronically malnourished.

    Underweight: Very high underweight levels, defined as above 30 percent, were seen in southern Somalia in agropastoral areas in Bay, in Beletweyne District in Hiraan and among IDPs in Kismayo. High levels, defined as more than 20 but less than 30 percent, were prevalent among IDP children in Baidoa, Dolow, Bosasso, Qardho, Garowe, and Galkayo. The assessment showed a strong correlation of 0.89 between prevalence of stunting and underweight among the children surveyed.

    Current case load: An estimated 203,000 children between the ages of six and 59 months are currently suffering from acute malnutrition in Somalia, including over 51,000 children who are severely malnourished. The total number of estimated SAM cases is 25 percent higher than in July 2013 or 12.5 percent higher than in December 2012. This suggests SAM has increased in Somalia.


    The February to June 2014 outlook is based on the following assumptions:


    • Abnormally high land surface temperatures, up to two degrees above normal, are likely through March in southern Somalia.
    • The April to June 2014 Gu rains are expected to be below normal to near normal in terms of total rainfall.

    Agricultural labor demand and crop production:

    • With the Deyr cereal harvest in January/February having been below average, the amount of cereals available to both markets and households through June is also below normal. Cereal prices will likely moderately increase in response, particularly in the areas where production was substantially below average.
    • The Deyr cash crop harvest in February is likely to have been above average in terms of volume in the southern regions. This increased production will likely result in increased cash income for middle and better-off households.
    • With somewhat near normal April to June Gu rainfall expected, area planted for Gu crops in April is expected to be near average. Land preparation and planting should occur at a seasonally normal time. Agricultural labor demand for land preparation, planting, and weeding is likely to be normal from March through June.


    • Livestock body conditions are likely to remain average during the dry January to March Jilaal season due to anticipated availability of dry pasture and browse. However, pasture, browse, and water availability will likely typically decrease along seasonal patterns, and this will result in continued typical livestock migration patterns to dry season grazing areas through March.
    • Water and pasture availability will likely decrease during Jilaal dry season in most areas, especially in some parts of the Hawd and Addun Pastoral, Southern Agropastoral in Middle Juba, and Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zones as these areas had less October to December Deyr rainfall and started the season off in drier condition.
    • Milk availability will typically, seasonally decline during the January to March Jilaal season as the number of milking females decreases.
    • A medium rate of kidding of small ruminants and calving of camels and cattle are expected in both the North and South, following the start of the Gu rains in late March/early April. A medium rate of kidding and a low rate of camel calving are expected in the central regions.
    • In the North by June, households would likely have had an increase in herd sizes. In the central regions, all species are expected to have growth in number. In the South, while herd sizes are expected to continue to grow through June, total herd sizes are expected to remain well below historical sizes, except in Southern Inland Pastoral (SIP) livelihood zone in Lower and Middle Juba Regions where herd sizes are expected to remain near or slightly above their historical size.
    • Milk prices will follow the seasonal trend of increasing during the January to March Jilaal dry season and decreasing following livestock births in the middle of the April to June Gu rains. In riverine livelihood zones, along the normal seasonal pattern, during the middle of the Gu rains in May, milk prices will likely increase after most milking livestock have been migrated to wet season grazing areas at some distance from riverine homesteads.
    • Livestock prices are likely to follow typical, seasonal trends. They will continue declining through the end of February due to low export and domestic demand, but then livestock prices will increase gradually from March through May due to the start of traders’ restocking for sales during Ramadan in late June/July.

    Markets and trade:

    • Sorghum and maize prices will likely decrease through the end of February as new supplies reach markets, despite the below average Deyr production in January/February. Sorghum and maize prices will likely increase from March through June as market stocks are drawn down and demand increases as the agricultural lean season approaches.
    • Cash crop sales, particularly of sesame, by middle-income and better-off households are expected to fund cereal purchases while prices are lower in the post-harvest period for sales to the market from March to June, after the prices increase. This will allow traders to continue to procure cereals through June from those households to help meet market demand.
    • Below-average cereal production and associated rising prices is likely to increase the cost of minimum expenditure basket (MEB) during the agricultural lean season from April to June.
    • Imported commodity prices will likely largely remain stable through April. Following the normal, seasonal trend, prices of imported commodities will likely start to rise slightly in May as shipping is curtailed from May to August during the monsoon winds off the coast.
    • Exchange rates are likely to remain mostly stable through June.

    Humanitarian assistance:

    • Humanitarian assistance is likely to continue in accessible areas, including southern Somalia.


    • Insecurity will likely continue through June. Inter-clan conflicts in the Shabelles will likely continue, disrupting and reducing trade, labor migration, and other normal movements of people and livestock.
    • Conflict between Al-Shabaab and government forces supported by troops from the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is likely to increase between now and June. This may discourage trade, especially longer-distance movement and may further restrict humanitarian access in some affected areas.
    • Conflicts will likely be concentrated primarily in Mogadishu, Lower and Middle Shabelle, Bay, Bakool, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba Regions.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    An estimated 857,000 people will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) requiring urgent humanitarian assistance between now and June (Figure 2). The recent figures represent an 18 percent decline since January 2013, but this is a mere 1.5 percent decline in people needing urgent humanitarian assistance since August 2013. Despite the positive impact of increased livestock prices and livestock herd sizes, improved milk availability, low local cereal and imported food prices, relatively high purchasing power from labor income and livestock sales, and sustained humanitarian interventions over the last six months, many households still require assistance. Locally produced cereal stocks will likely remain available in markets, but at a below average level through June due to Deyr cereal production being nearly 20 percent below the five-year average.

    Generally, food security outcomes in most of the pastoral areas are likely to be only seasonally deteriorate during the January to March Jilaal dry season, followed by seasonal improvements after the April to June Gu start. With the rains likely to start on time and likely be near normal, the result is that pasture, browse, and water availability should support largely medium kidding and calving rates. However, there will likely be some pockets of low calving in the central regions. As a result of kidding and calving, milk availability will seasonally increase and likely be at a near average level through June.

    In riverine and agropastoral areas in the South, food security will likely seasonally deteriorate during the April to June lean season. However with a normally timed start of the Gu rains expected in late March/April, agriculture labor opportunities are likely to be available at typical levels, providing cash income from labor to facilitate food purchases.

    Despite mostly seasonal trends expected during the April to June Gu rains, over two million people are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Their ability to protect their livelihoods will be lacking through June. This group of households will be barely able to meet their own minimal food requirements through mid-2014, and they remain highly vulnerable to shocks that could push them into Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    IDPs which constitute 74 percent of the 857,000 people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4). They will likely remain food insecure through June.

    Pastoralists, agropastoralists, and riverine communities which are currently in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) will likely remain food insecure and in Crisis and in Emergency (IPC Phases 3 &4) through at least June. These areas include cyclone-affected areas of Nugal and Bari Regions, flood-affected areas of the Shabelle and Juba Valleys, Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions, and some populations in drought-affected areas of Hiraan, Middle Juba, and Gedo. In Juba Riverine livelihood zone in Middle Juba, food access will improve following the expected off-season harvest and associated labor opportunities in March, the resumption of seasonally normal agricultural and labor activities once the Gu rains start in late March/April, and the associated resumption of milking following the expected medium kidding and calving rates following the start of the rains. These factors are likely to improve this area from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) after the start of the off-season harvest in March.

    Food security outcomes of agropastoral areas in Beletweyne District in Hiraan Region will likely deteriorate during the remainder of the February to March Jilaal dry season. Food consumption will become especially poor during the April to June lean season. Lack of household food stocks mean that households will be sourcing food from markets, but increased debt levels and limited incomes mean that some households will need to sell some assets and that lines of credit will slowly be withdrawn. The area is likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), but there will be some households in Crisis or Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) between February and June before the start of the Gu harvest.

    In Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Middle Juba, the Deyr harvest was far below average due to dry conditions during the October to December Deyr rains. These dry conditions also led to declining conditions to support livestock. Herd sizes are below baseline and households are currently selling more livestock than usual in order to obtain food. During the warmer than usual January to March Jilaal dry season, livestock body conditions and value are likely to further decline. Debt levels are already high for poor households. While some kidding and calving at a medium level is likely after the April to June Gu rains start, poor households will only gain some access their own milk, and their livestock may not fetch the most favorable prices during the pre-Ramadan restocking period in April/May. Households will remain in Crisis (IPC 3) through June and at least up until the start of the Gu harvest.

    Urban Areas

    Between February and June, all urban populations are projected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), despite the anticipated slightly more than seasonal increase in cereal prices. The expected magnitude of local grain price increases is unlikely to significantly reduce the purchasing power of the urban poor. Closely tracking these cereal price movements, CPI will likely decline through March 2014 due to the expected decline of sorghum prices in the post-harvest period as well as likely stable or decline in the prices of imported commodities in the MEB, but these will start to increase again as the agricultural lean season increases demand for grain from markets. In addition to prices, slowly improving economic opportunities in urban areas will likely sustain nearly stable labor wages in most urban areas. However, insecurity will remain a major risk factor for food access of urban households, particularly in South-Central as households who are displaced lose connections to important markets to sell their labor. Continued conflict along with violent disruptions of urban life will continue to increase the costs and risks associated with trade and other market activities. Displacement also creates increased competition for labor opportunities, as IDPs compete with the urban poor for the same opportunities.

    Settlements of IDPs

    In the most likely scenario, all the IDPs in Mogadishu are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In January 2013, over three quarters of Mogadishu’s IDPs were classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), in part due to strong flows of humanitarian support to IDPs. However, from February to June, humanitarian access to IDPs in Mogadishu is likely to remain precarious, and there is a lack of certainty about the likely levels of and amount of humanitarian support available. The government has plans to evict IDPs from public buildings in Mogadishu, Kismayo, and other towns of South-Central. This re-displacement may break links IDPs have formed on markets on which they sell their labor and with income-earning opportunities. Also, the likely deterioration of security may lead to further displacements. IDPs are vulnerable to several types of shocks following displacement, including contagious disease outbreaks, high disease risk due to poor hygiene and sanitation in congested informal settlements, physical insecurity and theft, and adverse exposure to extreme temperatures and rain due to poor housing conditions. Therefore, from February until June, all 635 000 IDPs in the assessed areas are projected to remain in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4).

    Most Likely Nutrition Outcomes Through April 2014

    The nutrition situation outlook for February to April 2014 is inferred from current estimates of the nutritional situation, seasonal trends in nutrition, historical disease patterns, and the projected food security for February to June 2014. In general, the current nutrition situation is likely to remain stable across the country (Figure 7). However, the exceptions to that stability include the following;

    • In Northwest Agropastoral and Sool Plateau Pastoral livelihood zones, the nutritional situation could deteriorate from Alert to Serious. In the Northwest, this would be due to the below average Gu/Karan harvest having led to reduced levels of household cereal stocks.
    • A Critical nutritional situation is projected in agropastoral areas in Bakool Region and Shabelle Riverine livelihood Zone in Lower Shabelle Region. Southern Hiraan Region and agropastoral areas in Lower Shabelle are expected to deteriorate to Serious based on seasonal trends and the extrapolation of the results of other similar and adjacent livelihood zones. These regions were not assessed in December 2013.

    Somalia is a country with persistently high levels of acute malnutrition. Although mortality is still low, the GAM levels are Serious-Critical. Morbidity is high, and there has been a recent increase in SAM prevalence.

    Areas of Concern

    Riverine livelihood zones in Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle Regions

    Current Situation
    • October to December Deyr rains varied, but in the upper river catchments in Ethiopia, the rains were heavy. Over 10,000 hectares (ha) of farm land in riverine areas in Middle Juba Region and over 8,000 ha of farm land in Jowhar and Balad Districts have been affected. The floods displaced 1,100 households from the villages of Lebiga, Xansholey, Dhay, and Bulo Waso in Jowhar and Balad Districts.
    • Agriculture labor and crop performance: The floods resulted in limited agricultural labor opportunities. This reduced household income. For households who can find labor, wage rates have unseasonably declined. They dropped 33 percent from October to November in Jilib in Middle Juba and were 38 percent below last year in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle.
    • Commodity prices: White maize prices increased 31 percent from October to November in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle. The increased price is due to stocks lost to flooding and a decrease in trade connections to other white maize-producing areas due to damaged infrastructure, insecurity, and limited trade. In Jilib, the white maize price increased 29 percent. Imported food commodity prices are also increasing in Middle Shabelle though they are not increasing as uniformly in Middle Juba, probably due to trader access to imported goods from the port in Kismayo. With rising white maize prices and declining labor wages, labor to white maize terms of trade have declined.
    • Debt level: Debt level of poor households in the riverine areas increased as households increasingly used new debt to fund food purchases.
    • Milk supply is seasonally low as livestock have migrated out of the river basins to their wet season grazing areas. Market availability of milk is low, and prices have increased substantially since the start of the floods.
    • Insecurity and conflict:
      • In Middle Shabelle, conflict has caused displacement, asset losses, and led to a further reduction in agricultural production. Inter-clan conflict In Jowhar District in mid-November resulted in the loss of lives and assets and led to additional displacement of an estimated 5,000 riverine and agropastoral households. Many of those displaced by conflict or flooding have left their land uncultivated. A large number of road blocks have increased transport cost and thus transaction costs for trade.
      • In Middle Juba, armed clashes between troops and armed groups, air surveillance, and air strikes have all disrupted normal trade and livestock and labor migration patterns. A large number of road blocks have increased transport cost and thus transaction costs for trade.
      • Humanitarian Assistance: Access to food assistance and other safety net programs remains minimal in these regions.
    • Food security outcomes:
      • In Middle Juba, despite the poor labor conditions, even poor households typically have some small ruminants. Trade disruptions have been less severe than in Middle Shabelle. Also, planting for flood recession agriculture has begun. Riverine areas or Middle Juba were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in January 2014.
      • In Middle Shabelle, with significant loss of assets and a higher level of displacement, households have few options other than debt to fund food purchases. The poor in this area typically do not have small ruminants. With few if any assets to sell and limited ability to cope, poor households face significant shortfalls in food consumption and are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) when humanitarian assistance are included However, without humanitarian assistance, the riverine areas would likely deteriorate to Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    In addition to the national-level assumption discussed above, the most likely scenario in Riverine livelihood zones in Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle Regions through June 2014 is based on the following additional assumptions:

    • In Middle Shabelle, flood waters will not completely recede until March. As such, flood recession cultivation will not be possible.
    • The nearly 5,000 displaced households currently sheltered at the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) compound in Jowhar have no access to their land for the current season.
    • In Middle Juba, recession cultivation has already begun. A near average off-season harvest likely to begin in March.
    • In Middle Juba, local cereal prices are likely to start to decline in late February as off-season Deyr green maize consumption begins from the flood recession cultivation.
    • In Middle Shabelle, local cereal prices are likely to show declining trend when maize from Lower Shabelle reaches in the markets in March. However, the decline will be muted by continued high transaction costs associated with the insecurity in the region.
    • Farm labor opportunities are likely to increase between March to June in both Middle Shabelle and Middle Juba riverine, hence cash income likely to increase during the second half of the scenario.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    In Shabelle Riverine livelihood zone in Middle Shabelle Region, the long-staying flood waters will likely lead to no recession cultivation and no anticipated off-season harvest between February and April. With no household stocks and few labor opportunities, along with high prices, poor household will continue to have a food consumption gap and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) though some may be receiving humanitarian assistance, as included in the analysis. However, poor households will likely fall into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) without humanitarian assistance through June, despite some additional labor opportunities for Gu cultivation starting in April.

    In Middle Juba’s riverine livelihood zone, Southern Juba Riverine livelihood zone, food access will be relatively poor in February at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as high prices and few labor opportunities will limit consumption. While households will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through June, their food consumption and access will gradually improve, starting with some green maize consumption in late February, and then having the dry off-season Deyr harvest in March/April 2014, and a likely fairly normal beginning to the Gu rainy season providing additional labor opportunities from March to June.

    Cyclone-affected areas of Sool Plateau and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the Northeast

    Current Situation

    Dangorayo District in Nugal Region the Sool Plateau in Bander-Beyla in Bari Region, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in Eyl District in Nugal Region had heavy rains and winds from November 10 to 12 from Tropical Cyclone Three. Flash floods and high winds caused the loss of human lives and the destruction of assets, including livestock deaths and destruction of fishing boats. Flash floods also damaged communications and transportation infrastructure, cutting off road access to coastal areas.

    The cyclone affected the livelihoods both of pastoralists and of those who rely on fishing as their primary source of income. Households who lost the majority of their livestock are currently accessing food primarily through humanitarian assistance and kinship support. Loss of livestock has dramatically reduced poor households’ access to milk, and loss of fishing equipment and boats has reduced the availability, consumption, and reliance on fish. In addition, around 65 percent of small ruminants were estimated to have died during the cyclone, reducing the number of saleable animals. Damage to infrastructure has reduced most of the population’s access to clean water. Prices of food and non-food items increased, probably as a result of disruptions to trade and damaged infrastructure. Households have few sources of income. Their livestock holdings have significantly fallen. Few labor opportunities are available, and there are few buyers of bush products or natural products like firewood, meaning households are currently bringing in very little cash income. Despite kinship support from other areas of the country and humanitarian assistance, which has substantially increased since the cyclone. Poor households are currently receiving a ration for a household, which is sized more appropriate for one person. Households are also buying food with debt, and debt levels have already increased 50 percent with some households’ credit now being limited.

    Poor households are in Crisis level (IPC Phase 3!) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance. Though ration sizes are small, without humanitarian assistance, poor households would likely face Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    • Poor households will be unable to sell their livestock due to the poor health and conditions of the livestock and the dramatically reduced holdings. Access to income from livestock sales during the peak sales period of April to May for Ramadan restocking will be much lower than usual.
    • Physical access to markets has already resumed and is likely to remain. Markets are likely to remain supplied with food commodities.
    • Fish production is unlikely to resume between now and June due to unrecovered loss of fishing gear and boats as well as the high monsoon winds starting in May will discourage re-entry at between now and June.
    • While significant, on-going humanitarian assistance will likely to continue, the amount of humanitarian assistance is unlikely to increase dramatically between now and June.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Between now and June, poor households will largely be unable access milk or income from livestock sales. Staple imported commodity prices such as for rice will likely increase along their usual seasonal pattern when the high sea monsoon winds start in May. This will further reduce the poor’s purchasing power. Fishing and related income is unlike to increase much between now and June. Debt levels will likely continue to increase, and more households will lose access to credit between now and June. The lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities will likely result in health hazards and high levels of waterborne diseases during the April to June Gu rains, likely increasing the prevalence of morbidity in children.

    Poor households will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) even with the presence of ongoing humanitarian assistance. Without this assistance, they would likely fall into Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    Events that might change the outlook

    Table 1: Possible events over the next six months that could change the most-likely scenario.

    AreaEventImpact on food security outcomes
    Agropastoral and riverine livelihood zones in SomaliaBelow average total April to June Gu rainfall or very poor temporal or spatial distribution of Gu rainsThe poor season would offset the current and expected improvements in food security outcome. In most areas, dry conditions and water stress would result in a significant below average ability to conduct agricultural labor, and crop production would fall. Water access would become more limited in agropastoral areas. Cereal prices could rise in expectation of poor production. As access to food and income declines, an increasing number of poor households that would enter Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    Cyclone-affected areasWithdrawal and/or reduction in the level of humanitarian assistanceWithdrawal or significant reduction of assistance will likely significantly increase the food consumption gap, putting more households into Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Malnutrition would likely increase, and deaths of children and vulnerable members of the community may occur.


    FEWS NET is a USAID-funded activity. The content of this report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

    FSNAU is a multi-donor project managed by FAO.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Current food security outcomes, January 2014

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Current food security outcomes, January 2014

    Source: Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit-Somalia (FSNAU)

    Figure 2. Projected food security outcomes, February to June 2014

    Figure 3

    Figure 2. Projected food security outcomes, February to June 2014

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 3. Casual day labor wage to cereals terms of trade in kilograms (kg) per day

    Figure 4

    Figure 3. Casual day labor wage to cereals terms of trade in kilograms (kg) per day

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 4. Food and non-food expenditures in cities in December 2013

    Figure 5

    Figure 4. Food and non-food expenditures in cities in December 2013

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 5. Percentage of households usind various sources of income for IDPs

    Figure 6

    Figure 5. Percentage of households usind various sources of income for IDPs

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 6. January 2014 estimated nutrition situation, based on October to December 2013 nutrition surveys

    Figure 7

    Figure 6. January 2014 estimated nutrition situation, based on October to December 2013 nutrition surveys

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 7. Estimated nutrition situation, February to April 2014

    Figure 8

    Figure 7. Estimated nutrition situation, February to April 2014

    Source: FSNAU

    Figure 9


    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.

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