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The population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher will continue to increase through December

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Somalia
  • July - December 2014
The population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher will continue to increase through December

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  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events That Might Change the Outlook
  • Key Messages
    • The population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher will likely reach one million people by December 2014. Most of the food insecure will be in agropastoral areas and urban areas in southern Somalia. Intensified conflict, restricted trade, and a below harvest have led to high prices and reduced availability of labor opportunities since March, increasing food insecurity in these areas.
    • Food security outcomes in some pastoral livelihood zones in the Northeast, the Northwest, and the central regions will likely deteriorate despite these areas remaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2). High debts, reduced livestock production, and poor body conditions will become more prevalent between July and September as the availability of pasture and water declines during the dry season.
    • Urban centers including Buloburte and Jalalaqsi in Hiraan, Qoryoley and Marka in Lower Shabelle, Xudur, Wajid, and Elbarde in Bakool, and Luuq and Garbaharrey in Gedo have had severely restricted trade just as stocks from previous seasons are being drawn down. Food security will continue to deteriorate if trade restrictions persist.
    • Many areas of Somalia are likely to see deteriorating food security, especially between now and the start of the Deyr rains in October. Also, the acutely food insecure population will increase. Below average access to income and food sources will be exacerbated by reduced supplies from trade and the steep increase of staple food prices. However, despite this significant deterioration, no area of Somalia is likely to enter Famine (IPC Phase 5) between now and December.

    National Overview
    Current Situation

    In February, the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit-Somalia (FSNAU), FEWS NET, and partners projected that around 860,000 people would remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher phases through June 2014. However, the acutely food insecure population is likely already larger than that. Deteriorating food security is the result of intensified conflict, restricted trade, below average planting in some areas, and below average availability of agricultural labor opportunities related to below-average rainfall. In some areas, locally produced cereal prices are the highest they have been since their peaks in 2008 or 2011.

    • Between April and June during the Gu rainy season, cumulative rainfall was below normal to near normal in most parts of the country. Temporal and spatial coverage were mixed.  Some places had better coverage and frequency and others had less frequent rainfall than usual. These rains started later than normal, in many places not becoming fully established until May, and they ended in early June in most areas, particularly in the North and the central regions.
      • In the Northwest and Northeast, rains were below average in Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone and parts of the Hawd, many areas of the Sool Plateau, Nugal Valley, and East Golis Pastoral livelihood zones in Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag Regions. Cumulative rainfall was below average in Karkaar-Dharoor Valley, East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in the Northeast, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in Bari Region. Below-average total rainfall in these areas resulted in unusual livestock migration.
      • In the central regions, despite the long dry spell for the whole month of April, rains fell in May and early June in localized area of the Hawd, Addun Pastoral livelihood zone, and some of the cowpea-growing areas in Central Agropastoral livelihood zone. In those areas, this season’s rains were near average to well below average in cumulative amount with poor spatial coverage and frequency. These rains were insufficient to rejuvenate pasture, replenish water sources, and support cowpea germination or development at typical levels. In most parts of Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions, Gu rains were largely below normal, resulting in lack of rejuvenation and in some cases further deterioration of pasture conditions and poor water availability.
      • In the South, most of Lower Juba, Middle Shabelle, and Bay Regions, and parts of Lower Shabelle, Middle Juba, and Hiraan received near average to slightly above-average cumulative April to June rainfall. However, agropastoral areas in Hiraan, Bakool, Gedo, and Middle Juba Regions had significantly below-average rainfall totals.
    • Pasture availability is below average in some parts of the country. Water trucking started in several areas. The early cessation of Gu rains was followed by strong Xagaa winds, which is accelerating the depletion of water sources and the deterioration of pasture conditions. Hotter than average temperatures coupled with below average rainfall performance from April to June also resulted in rapid deterioration of rangeland resources. The eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of green vegetation, was below average from April to June.
      • In the Northeast, pasture availability significantly deteriorated in coastal areas, East Golis Pastoral, and Karkaar-Dharoor Valley Pastoral livelihood zones. However, there was some pasture available still in parts of Eyl District, and livestock have been migrated mostly to Addun Pastoral livelihood zone and the Sool Plateau. Despite some pasture availability on the Sool Plateau, water availability has already fallen, and water trucking has started. In Hawd Pastoral, pasture and water conditions deteriorated with the end of the rains, and livestock migration to Somali Region of Ethiopia has been reported. Water prices at watering points in Karkaar-Dharoor Pastoral, the Sool Plateau, and other areas have increased. A jerrycan (20 liters) of water is being sold between SOS 3,000 to SOS 4000 and up to SOS 7,000 in a few areas. Poor pastoralists and their herds are staying near water points where pasture conditions are poor. Better off pastoral households have moved to better, dry season grazing areas to access higher quality pasture.
      • In the Northwest, despite starting the dry season in June with good pasture availability, livestock migration to the Hawd from other areas resulted in early depletion of pasture. Pasture in the Hawd in Togdheer Region is already depleted, so livestock have been migrated to other parts of the Hawd within Somalia and in Somali Region of Ethiopia.
      • In the central regions, Coastal Deeh pastoral livelihood zone in Jariban, Hobyo, Xarardheere, and Ceeldheer Districts have seen pastoralists migrate with their livestock to Addun Pastoral livelihood zone and the cowpea belt for better grazing.
      • In the South, in Bakool, Hiraan, and Gedo Regions, pasture and water availability are well below normal following the below average Gu rainfall in these areas. In Bakool, pastoralists and their herds have had their movement curtailed by the conflict between Al Shabaab and the government supported by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops. Pastoralists were instructed by Al Shabaab not to go to certain grazing areas due to fear that government or AMISOM troops would also enter these areas and gain control. This has resulted in livestock and pastoralists crowding into the accessible areas, resulting in early and imminent depletion of water and pasture. In northern Gedo, particularly, many pastoralists are currently concentrated in parts of Beled Hawa and Dolow Districts where the pasture is already depleted. However, most of the livestock in Gedo have been migrated to the Juba Regions and to the eastern side of the Juba River where pasture is more available than in northern Gedo.
    • Livestock body conditions, production, and value: Generally livestock body conditions are near average, despite some deterioration in the conditions of milking females. In most pastoral areas of the Northeast, Northwest, the central regions, Hiraan, Gedo, and Middle Juba, below average conceptions rate among small ruminants were reported during the Gu rains. In the North and the central regions, an elevated camel abortion rate has been observed, possibly as a result of long-distance migration. Despite, average to below average camel milk production in the North and the central regions, most pastoral households in these areas still have some access to milk. In the South, camel milk production has had its typical seasonal decline, but it is also below average due to poor pasture and water availability. Livestock export demand and prices are currently increasing as most of the traders already started restocking for Hajj exports in July. Many agropastoral areas such as Bay Region are receiving income from livestock and livestock product sales at this time of year.
    • Crop performance:
      • In the North, both Togdheer and Woqooyi Galbeed’s agropastoral areas have had far below average Gu maize crops with much of the crop failing to reach maturity. In much of Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone, farmers planted fodder crops instead of maize, and income from fodder sales is being used to purchase food. However in Woqooyi Galbeed’s agropastoral areas, maize is usually harvested in July, but there is very little to harvest this year.
      • In agropastoral areas in Hiraan and Bakool and Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Gedo and Middle Juba, much of the planted crop did not become fully established. Thus, green consumption has not yet started with much of the crop unlikely to reach even that phase of development.
      • In Lower Shabelle, the planted area for the Gu was lower than usual in agropastoral areas, in part due to insecurity. Conflict also reduced planting in Marka, Qoryoley, and Afgoye Districts, primarily in rainfed, agropastoral areas. However, maize planting in riverine areas was average to above average, and the crop is currently well established and developing normally though a little late in its development. In the sorghum-producing areas in Wanlaweyne District, Quellea birds have attacked the sorghum and consumed much of the grain. While the crop had developed fairly normally, there has already been a significant yield loss of the standing crop due to the birds. However, cash crops such as sesame are developing normally.
      • In Bay Region, the sorghum crop became well established, and the crop was developing normally if a little later than is typical. However as in Lower Shabelle, Quellea birds are consuming some of the sorghum.
      • In Middle Shabelle, the coastal Xagaa rains did not fall as expected in June. This followed the erratic temporal and spatial distribution of the March to June Gu rains. This has resulted in poor conditions of the rainfed sorghum crop in all districts. In riverine areas, renewed clan conflict has reduced crop production by limiting access to land for land preparation, planting, and weeding. In many areas that did plant, the maize germinated, but livestock belonging to members of armed groups have grazed on much of the crop before it was able to be harvested.
    • In central region’s cowpea-producing area, cowpea production has been significantly below average due to erratic rainfall and the long dry spells in April and May when the cowpea crop typically becomes established. Staple food prices:
      • Sorghum and maize prices in June are the highest they have been since the price spikes of 2008 or 2011 in most markets. In the sorghum belt and in Wanlaweyne District, both locally produced red sorghum and imported white sorghum prices have sharply increased since April. Their prices are higher than last year and in many cases they are higher than their respective five-year averages. Maize prices have also seen sharp increase in maize-producing areas of the Shabelle Valley and in June were higher than the five-year average and last year. In the Juba Valley, maize prices are higher than last year, but they are generally slightly below their five-year averages. These price increases are likely due to the seasonally reduced stocks, restricted trade, high transportation costs, and trader expectations about the likely below-average Gu harvest.
      • In all parts of the country, imported rice prices have remained stable since the beginning of 2014 and, in most cases, they have remained below the five-year average. A few exceptions can be found in markets where trade has been severely curtailed by conflict. The rice price stability is likely due to international rice price stability over the past year.
    • Livestock prices: Prices for all livestock species in almost all markets have seasonally increased, and in most of the markets, they are higher than average. Prices are mostly similar to last year, despite some price declines in the drier agropastoral areas in Hiraan, Bakool, Gedo, and Middle Juba due to poorer body conditions. However, prices are still, generally following the seasonal trend of increasing at this time of year. Goat prices in the Northwest in Borama, Hargeisa, and Burao are at record highs, and camel prices in the Shabelle Valley increased around January 2014 and have remained fairly high. High livestock prices are caused by high seasonal demand for local consumption and exports for Ramadan and the Hajj, but in many cases, the low number of saleable animals with suitable body conditions also plays a role by reducing the potential supply.
    • In Qoryoley in Lower Shabelle, in part due to the effects of the conflict, the terms of trade (TOT) between the daily wage rate and white maize in June was as low as in 2008 and 2011. The daily wage rate to white maize TOT has been declining since January. In May, a day of labor could pay for seven kilograms (kg) of white maize, but in June, a day’s labor could only buy three kg of maize. Similarly, in Jowhar in Middle Shabelle, the TOT had been declining since January, and in June a day’s wage could only buy five kg of maize compared 13 kg in January. In Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Gedo’s Dolow town, the goat to red sorghum TOT declined by 30 percent. A local-quality goat can buy 55 Kg of red sorghum in June instead of the 102 kg that it could buy a year ago. In Southern Agropastoral livelihood in Middle Juba in Sakow town, the goat to white maize TOT declined 44 percent over the past year. In this market a goat can only buy 70 kg of white maize in June compare to 125 kg that it could buy in June 2013. In Hiraan in Beledweyne, a goat only buys 53 kg of white sorghum in June 2014 compare to 121 kg in June 2013. Generally in Bay Region, despite the TOT between goat and red sorghum which almost declined by half in June compare to last year, the TOT is still sufficient to assist with food access and above the five-year average. For example, in Baidoa, a local-quality goat in June was worth only 186 kg of red sorghum compared to 328 kg last year. However, these ToT in Bay are still higher than most other areas of southern Somalia and favorable for households who need to sell goats to buy red sorghum.
    • Urban areas of the South: Since March, trade has been restricted due to conflict between the government and Al Shabaab, active fighting between these groups, and inter-clan conflict. The conflict has reduced access to urban markets for traders. Al Shabaab has reportedly used its control of rural areas to limit trade going into towns that are under government control. Traders have thus not been supplying some towns with food. Thus, staple food prices increased significantly as supplies in the towns are drawn down. With most towns serving as trade hubs and many of the better off fleeing towns for their own safety, there has been a broader collapse of economic activity, making it increasingly difficult for poor households to find labor to earn income to purchase food. The affected towns include Buloburte and Jalalaqsi in southern Hiraan, Qoryoley and Marka in Lower Shabelle, Xudur, Wajid, and Elbarde in Bakool, and Luuq and Garbaharrey in Gedo. Across the South, 22,400 people were displaced by conflict in May and June according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As a result of reduced supplies from trade, staple food prices have increased dramatically. For example, in Xudur, the price of red sorghum increased 68 percent from March to June. The June price was 142 percent higher than June 2013, and during the conflict in May, red sorghum was 188 percent higher than last year. The prices of white maize and imported staples have also increased in these cities. While prices have risen across southern Somalia in recent months, the increases have been most dramatic in the conflict-affected areas. With high staple food prices, the labor to cereal terms of trade has fallen. In Xudur, a day of labor in March could purchase 3.8 kg of red sorghum, but in June, it could only purchase 2.9 kg, a loss of nearly a quarter of its purchasing power. In Qoryoley, a day of labor in March could pay for 13.2 kg of white maize, and by June, it could only buy 2.9 kg, a loss of over three-quarters of the purchasing power of labor. With less purchasing power, the urban poor and IDPs are likely consuming less than usual. Humanitarian access to these towns is nearly non-existent with few agencies still operable. With food availability and access so much lower than normal, food insecurity has sharply increased.

    Food security outcomes in July deteriorated in some parts of the country, including:

    • Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Gedo and Middle Juba: Poor households currently have no cereal stocks as last season was not very productive. They need to purchase food, but with cereal prices reaching high levels, the goat to red sorghum or white maize TOT have dropped. Milk availability is lower than usual, and debt levels have increased to fund food purchases. Poor households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • In Hiraan Agropastoral, agricultural labor was almost non-existent during the April to June Gu season, and planted crops generally did not reach maturity, particularly in Beledweyne District. Conflict has led to high prices in markets, and humanitarian access is very limited. Poor households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • Generally in Bakool and particularly Bay-Bakool Agropastoral Low-potential livelihood zone within Bakool, households do not have food stocks. In this area, the ongoing conflict has blocked trade routes, and in this case, both rural and urban areas are poorly supplied. Poor households are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • In Middle Shabelle, both riverine and agropastoral areas have seen conflict over land, had below-average Xagaa rains in June and July, and had increased displacements. The generally inadequate crop growth during the Gu has also meant less local supply. This has placed poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • In Lower Shabelle, below-average planted area in Marka, Qoryoley, and Afgoye Districts and Quellea bird damage of standing sorghum crop in Wanlaweyne resulted in poor households have below usual access to green crops for consumption at this time of year. While their food security has deteriorated, most areas are still Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
    • In urban areas including Buloburte and Jalalaqsi in Hiraan, Qoryoley and Marka in Lower Shabelle, Xudur, Wajid, and Elbarde in Bakool, and Luuq and Garbaharrey in Gedo, food security situation deteriorated due to trade restrictions, reduced economic activities, and low availability of labor opportunities. Poor households in these areas are mainly in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    The July 2014 to December 2014 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:


    • June to August Xagaa rains are expected to be near normal in terms of rainfall totals in Lower and Middle Juba, and Bay Regions. June to August Xagaa rains will likely sustain seasonally normal water and pasture availability in these regions. However delayed and below average Xagaa rains in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions will likely reduce crop production and the regeneration of pasture in the coastal strips of these regions.
    • Cumulative July to September Karan rains in the Northwest are expected to be below normal.
    • There is heightened probability, of up to 65 percent, of an El Niño event occurring in late 2014. Current observations suggest a transition to El Niño conditions by October to December. Subsequently, the October to December Deyr rains in the country are likely to be average to above average in amount. There will be an increased risk for river flooding and flash floods in flood-prone areas of the country.
    • Warmer than normal land surface temperatures are forecast during the dry season through September.

    Crop production and agricultural labor:                                                                                                          

    • The Gu harvest will likely to be below average, including in Bay, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Bakool, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba Regions. The harvest has been delayed for at least one month, and it will likely not occur before August.
    • Agricultural labor demand is likely to be average to above average from October to December due to the forecast average to above average October to December Deyr rains.
    • However, with flooding likely in many flood-prone riverine areas in the Shabelle and Juba Regions, agricultural activities are likely to be delayed. This may mean that agricultural labor demand in these areas does not increase until late in the year.  Increased recession cultivation and off-season Deyr crop planting will likely occur in November/December. As a result, increased agriculture labor is likely in November and December, especially in riverine areas, which will likely continue through March 2015.
    • Farmers in agropastoral areas of Bay, Bakool, Gedo, the Shabelles, and the Jubas will likely increase total planted area under cereals between October and December to compensate for low household cereal stocks due to the likely below average Gu harvest in August 2014 and as a response to higher prices for local cereals.


    • With the projected warmer than normal land surface temperatures between July and September, rangeland and water conditions are likely to deteriorate faster than normal. Water trucking is likely to increase in several pastoral areas, including the Sool Plateau, the Hawd, Karkaar-Dharoor Pastoral, Addun Pastoral, and Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zones.
    • Livestock body condition will likely weaken between July and September during the dry season due to poorer than usual grazing conditions. Being less healthy, when the Deyr rains start in October, temperatures will drop very quickly. This means that livestock mortality from hypothermia is likely at a higher rate than in a typical year.
    • Camel and goat milk availability are likely to decrease between July and September due to reported high abortion rates that resulted from poor seasonal performance in some pastoral areas in Northeast and Central. Goat milk availability is unlikely to have a large increase in October as fewer goats than normal conceived during the Gu rains.
    • Cattle milk availability will likely increase in the South due to a medium rate of calving in July. However, cattle conceptions during November/December will likely be lower than usual with many females still milking or being too young to conceive.
    • Livestock prices are likely to increase between July and October due to increased export demand during these months in preparation for the Hajj. However, prices are likely to decline from November through December, following the usual, seasonal trend.

    Markets and trade:

    • With the delayed Gu harvest and anticipated below-average production, supply is less than usual. Prices of locally produced grain will likely not decline until September. However, in some cases, prices might just stabilize at their current high level with falling prices only in the markets most accessible to trade.
    • In markets affected by the trade restrictions both locally produced and imported commodities are less available. Prices are likely to continue their steep increases while trade restrictions remain in place. However, as supplies enter these towns, prices would also, dramatically, decrease.
    • Rice prices are expected to remain stable due to ample global stocks and stable prices in most producing countries.
    • The seasonal, monsoon winds causes less trade by sea between April and September as it prevents smaller ships from servicing many of the smaller ports. This will likely contribute to reduced imports of rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, and diesel during these months. The market supply of these imported goods though will likely remain typical as traders anticipate the closures. Between October and December, imports are expected to increase, reducing prices of imported goods or keeping them on their seasonal trend of primarily being stable.

    Humanitarian assistance:

    • The government fund to target drought- and conflict-affected areas in Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Middle Juba, and Middle Shabelle is likely to increase food access for some households. However, it is not expected to lead to a broader expansion of humanitarian access or to affect food access over large areas.
    • Humanitarian access will likely be seasonally reduced between October and December due to flooding and heavy rains likely cutting off access to feeder roads from rural settlements to towns. Increased humanitarian access in the South is not anticipated.


    • 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 through December.
    • The conflict is likely to continue to constrain humanitarian access, increase loss of life and assets, and disrupt both trade and population movements. The conflict is likely to result in increased displacement.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Food security outcomes in the country are expected to deteriorate. Areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely increase and the number of households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher phases is likely to reach more than one million between now and the end of September. Agropastoral areas in the South with exception of Bay Agropastoral High Potential livelihood zone will be among those seeing the largest change in food access as a result of the below-average Gu harvest and related labor opportunities.

    Between October to December, with a likely average to above-average amount of Deyr rainfall, agricultural labor income will likely assist many poor households in acquiring food in the agropastoral areas. However, livestock diseases and deaths from hypothermia area likely. The rains are also likely to increase malnutrition rates and the spread of water-borne diseases. However, despite the likely improvement from labor income, riverine and agropastoral areas are in their minor lean season in October/November and cereal stocks are likely to remain below normal. As result, significant improvement from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is unlikely before December. However, most areas will likely see improvements after the Deyr crops become available.

    In urban areas in Hiraan, Bakool, Gedo, Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle, and Lower Shabelle Regions, food access will be dictated by whether trade resumes or not. The worst-affected areas may temporarily move into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) while Al Shabaab has managed to limit trade into urban areas. However, they have, in the past, largely been unable to maintain strict trade restrictions for very long. Even as the government takes control of more urban areas and trading posts, Al Shabaab is probably unlikely to maintain a total blockage of trade for long enough to lead to anything higher than Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Most of these towns are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, the rapid deterioration of the purchasing power of laborers combined with rapidly rising prices due to declining food stocks means some towns may fall into Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

    Food security outcomes in pastoral areas of the Northwest, the Northeast, the central regions, and Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone will likely remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone in Lower Juba will likely remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1), having maintained good access to pasture and water, despite currently hosting a larger number of in-migrated livestock and pastoralists. Pastoralists in these areas will likely access to own produced food and income from their livestock. Poor pastoralists in coastal areas of the Northeast and the central regions and in the Karkaar-Dharoor Valley of Bari Region will face reduced food access, as their livestock herds are as small as 30 goats in some cases, when 50 to 60 sheep or goats would be more typical. These poor households do not have export quality livestock to sell, and their income from livestock sales and livestock product sales will likely be further reduced during the scenario period as body conditions deteriorate.

    In agropastoral areas in Woqooyi Galbeed, Gu maize production largely failed and the expected long-cycle sorghum harvest in October/November will likely be below average as below average Karan rains are forecast. Food security may deteriorate in this area and the number of food insecure people is likely to increase.

    Areas of Concern

    Southern Agropastoral livelihood of Gedo and Middle Juba

    Current Situation

    As a result of below-average April to June Gu rainfall, planted area was below average. In Gedo in many areas, no crops were planted. In Middle Juba, much of the planted crops wilted. Replanting did not take place with mostly dry conditions. Livestock body conditions have weakened, and productivity and values have declined. Poor households currently own around 25 goats, which is below holdings in more normal years when up to 40. With lower livestock sales, households are having difficulty finding funds for market purchases of food. Camel milk prices have increased since March due to low availability, meaning many poor households are unable to purchase milk and may not be producing any of their own. During a typical year at this time of year, poor households would have income from agricultural labor, livestock sales, and they would have just started green consumption of Gu crops. However, this year, there are not green crops to consume.

    Weather: Light and intermittent rains with long dry spell showers started as late as the end of April and ended in May. Deyr rainfall was over 50 percent below normal, and both temporal and spatial coverage were highly uneven. In addition to erratic rainfall, temperatures were warmer than usual in April and May.

    Crop performance and production: Much of the crop failed in Gedo, and reduced planted area could lead to a well below average, minimal harvest in Middle Juba. With little growing, agricultural labor demand was low. This reduced income from agriculture labor both due to households doing less labor and getting paid less for it. Labor wage rates in Sakow in June were 35 percent below last year and only 65 percent of the five-year average. Similar decreases were observed in Dolow in Gedo. No green consumption is ongoing. As a result poor households currently depend on market while there is no remaining cereal stock from previous seasons’ harvest.

    Pasture conditions and livestock production: Pasture availability is below average. Livestock have been concentrating around permanent water sources and in some places where water trucking is ongoing. Livestock body conditions, particularly lactating females, are deteriorating quickly, reducing the value and milk production. There was a higher mortality rate than typical for kids and lambs during the recent Gu.

    Livestock and water Prices: of the price of a 20 liter jerrycan of water in Ara’ase in Gedo has increased since March. By June it was 50 percent higher than last year. In Sakow in Middle Juba, the price of a 200 liter drum of water increased 20 percent from May to June. Livestock prices are mostly lower than last year and 2012. The price of a local quality goat in Dolow in June was 21 percent less than last year. In Sakow, a local quality goat in June had a price 36 percent below last year.

    Food prices: Locally produced cereal prices have increased in price. Red sorghum in Garbaharrey in June was 66 percent more than in June 2013. Similarly, price of imported red rice in Ara’ase in Gedo has increased since March, and in June was 66 percent higher than last year. In Sakow in Middle Juba, the price of a kilogram (kg) of white maize increased 172 percent from January to June.

    Terms of Trade (TOT): In Dolow in Gedo, a day of work in June could only buy eight kg of red sorghum compared to 16 kg last year. Labor to red sorghum TOT have decreased since March. In Sakow in Middle Juba, a day of labor could purchase seven kg of white maize, compared to 12 kg last year. These labor to white maize TOT have been decreasing since February.

    Debt: Many poor households are continuing to purchase food and essential non-food items on credit, increasing their debts.

    Insecurity: In northern Gedo, inter-clan conflict is now causing increased insecurity. Conflict is also continuing between Al Shabaab and the federal government along with more local levels of government. Conflict between sub-clans has also started. The Kenya Defense Force (KDF) on behalf of AMISOM has conducted some aerial bombardment in Middle Juba. These various forms of conflict have been reducing traders’ movements, along with the availability of non-agricultural labor.

    Humanitarian assistance: In Gedo, some interventions have occurred in Garbaharrey District. These humanitarian programs are also planned to continue through July. In Middle Juba, o humanitarian access is still highly restricted, though some assistance does make its way in.

    Malnutrition is expected to be at the Critical level. Poor households are unable to afford enough food or only doing so with accelerated asset depletion are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).


    In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumption has been made about Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone:

    • As a result of above-average Deyr rains from October to December, it is assumed that planted area will be above average.
    • Between July and September, the number of milking goats is likely to decline. However, the good rains should allow a high rate of conceptions during the Deyr rains. However, this will not have increased the number of saleable livestock by December.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Livestock sales as the demand of Hajj export increases will be the primary source of income from July to September. However, the number of export-quality, saleable animals will be fairly low, and poor households will have few due to low holdings. However, not having other ready sources of cash, some households may sell milking females in order to purchase food. Remittances and cash gifts will largely be unavailable for the remainder of the year as even the better off have been affected by dry conditions and the area enters the minor lean season in October and November.

    With the onset of rains in October, land preparation, planting, and weeding will start and continue through December. Agricultural labor demand will likely increase at that time as will wages. However, some flash floods will likely affect some agricultural lowlands and valleys, leading to largely temporary disruptions in labor demand in localized areas.

    From October to December, livestock sales will decline as demand declines. Between October to December, milk sales will also seasonally decrease as goats start conceiving in October/November.  Poor households’ income will be below a typical year through December.

    To mitigate reduced income and food sources, poor households will likely sell breeding livestock, and will increase dependence on markets by seeking cash loans or credit purchases, increasing their debts. They will also likely to seek employment at riverine farmers and seek to delay payments against their debts. In Gedo, it is likely that planned and funded food, cash, voucher programs will continue in the areas where they are operating. In Middle Juba, poor households will likely seek employment in larger towns such as Baidoa and Bardheere. Despite some improvement in income after October, poor households are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December and not significantly increase their food access until the January/February 2015 Deyr harvest.

    Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone

    Current Situation

    In Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone, the Gu crop largely failed to reach Households are not consuming green maize or sorghum as they typically would in June/July. Livestock have been migrated to pastoral areas nearby, but they are not close enough to settlements to provide milk. Local cereal prices are very high. Sorghum supply from Bay and Ethiopia is low as the Gu harvest has been delayed in those areas, so it has yet to reach markets. Poor households typically source all their food from purchases during the April to June lean season, but they started earlier this year are unlikely to transition towards own produced food anytime soon.

    Weather: April to June Gu rainfall was 50 to 75 below average following a warmer and drier than normal January to March Jilaal.

    Crop performance and production: stopped weeding in late May as crop growth was insufficient, and this reduced demand for agricultural labor. Limited access to reduced planted area and agricultural labor demand in nearby riverine areas.

    Pasture conditions and livestock production: Pasture and browse availability are well below due to inadequate rainfall for regeneration. Livestock were migrated earlier than usual to Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone to access better pasture and free water from communal dams. Livestock conceptions for all livestock species were very low during the Gu. Milk production is low as livestock have been migrated far from settlements and few females are lactating.

    Livestock Prices: The local quality goat price in Halgan in June was 32 percent below last year. Livestock prices have been decreasing since January with a slight uptick in the price in May. Few livestock are being sold on markets.

    Food prices: Prices of white sorghum and white maize in Halgan are higher than their peaks in 2008 or 2011. However, in Beledweyne the imported rice price has remained stable since the beginning of the year.

    Term of Trade (TOT): In Beledweyne, a local quality goat could be sold to buy 53 kg of white sorghum in June rather than the 130 Kg that it could purchase last year. Goat to sorghum TOT have declined 43 percent in the last six months, while goat to maize TOT have declined by 59 percent. Similarly the daily can buy only seven kg of white maize, as low as it was in 2011.

    Debts: Average debts for poor households were estimated to be USD 68 in January 2014 and in July they were estimated to be nearly USD 100. Poor households have been purchasing food and essential non-food items on credit since January.

    Insecurity: Most rural areas of Hiraan Region are controlled by Al Shabaab. Since the federal government and AMISOM extended their control to Buloburte town in March, Al Shabaab has imposed trade restrictions on the town by increased road blocks. Targeted killings and armed skirmishes have also occurred. The trade restrictions have prevented fuel and food from entering Buloburte and this has also reduced trade to nearby rural, agropastoral areas.

    Humanitarian assistance: No significant humanitarian assistance is reaching to most parts of the region due to the ban on most assistance agencies imposed by Al Shabaab in 2010. Humanitarian access is lowest in the southern areas of the region.

    Food security outcomes in Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone are currently at Crisis (IPC Phase 3).


    In addition to the national assumptions described above, the following assumption has been made about Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone:

    • As a result of above-average Deyr rains from October to December, it is assumed that planted area will be above average.
    • Persistent insecurity and trade restrictions are likely to continue. Road blocks and multiple taxes will further reduce trade and the increased cost of trade will increase food prices.
    • Between July and September, the number of milking goats is likely to decline. However, the good rains should allow a high rate of conceptions during the Deyr rains. However, this will not have increased the number of saleable livestock by December.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Between July and September, labor demand and wages are likely to continue to decrease. As the result, further debt accumulation is likely. The number of poor households defaulting on their debts will likely increase, which will limit access to debt for other households. Poor households in this livelihood zone may be able to sale one or two goats or sheep to access cash between July and September, but this may not be cover their cost of food. They are still likely to have a gap.

    To mitigate their low incomes, poor households will send some members out for labor outmigration, seek cash loans, increase livestock sales, and increase sales of bush products. Humanitarian interventions are likely to remain minimal and only available in areas controlled by the federal government.

    Between October and December, increased agricultural labor demand will likely result in increased cash income, increasing poor households’ ability to buy food. However, with high debts, households may need to make some debt repayments in order to keep lines of credit open and merchants continuing to serve rural areas. Despite some livestock mortality expected due to hypothermia, livestock conception rates will likely be average to above average with better conditions. However, milking animals will remain low due to last season’s poor conception rate and the high rate of abortions during the dry season. Milk sales will remain an insignificant source of income.

    Despite some increased food access after October primarily due to agricultural labor, Hiraan Agropastoral livelihood zone will be unlikely to significantly improve until the Deyr harvest in January/February 2015. The area is expected to remain Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until then.

    Events That Might Change the Outlook

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



    Impact on food security outcomes

    Southern Somalia’s crop-producing areas

    Reduced trade restrictions and conflict



    Events that will minimize displacement, increase trade, reduce taxation of trade, and enable poor households to access inputs during the October to December Deyr rains would all serve to increase food access. This would also likely increase planted area, eventually increasing income from agricultural labor and crop sales.

    Urban centers of Lower Shabelle, Bakool, Hiraan, Gedo, and Middle Juba

    Tight trade restrictions and other restrictions on movement

    Lack of trade could put some urban areas into Emergency (IPC Phase 4). These events would also reduce food security in adjacent agropastoral areas by harming important trade links between towns and rural areas.

    Southern Somalia’s crop-producing areas


    Lack of flooding during the October to December Deyr rains

    Reductions or elimination of flooding would likely increase planted area and production as main season crops tend to have higher yields than off-season crops. Food security would likely improve earlier in the year and some areas could return to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) by December.


    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Current food security outcomes, July 2014

    Figure 2

    Current food security outcomes, July 2014

    Source: fEWS NET

    Figure 3


    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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