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Emergency (IPC Phase 4) expected in north-central areas after second consecutive poor rainfall season

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Somalia
  • June 2019 - January 2020
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) expected in north-central areas after second consecutive poor rainfall season

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  • Key Messages
  • Events that Might Change the Outlook
  • Partner
    Key Messages
    • In April and May, FEWS NET and FSNAU released two alerts and multiple analyses to the donor community detailing the poor start of the April-June 2019 Gu rainfall season and expected deterioration in food security conditions across the region. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes were anticipated in June-September 2019. Although heavy rains in mid-May to early-June significantly improved pasture and water availability and restored livestock body conditions, previously projected outcomes remain most likely due to significantly below-average food and income sources resulting in large food consumption gaps and widespread, high acute malnutrition prevalence.

    • An estimated 2.2 million people are expected to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes through September and are urgently in need of humanitarian food assistance and interventions to prevent high levels of acute malnutrition. This number could increase as the dry season progresses. The average number of beneficiaries reached with food assistance from January to May 2019 declined 47 percent compared to those reached from August to December 2018.

    • In north-central pastoral areas, where most households are still recovering from the extended impact of the 2016/17 severe drought, food security outcomes are driven by stagnated or declining herd sizes. In areas of greatest concern, poor households have maximized debt and credit and are unwilling or unable to engage in extreme depletion of productive livestock assets. As a result, they are expected to have large food deficits reflected by heightened acute malnutrition and excess mortality risk through October, when current livestock conceptions lead to herd size increases. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is expected in Northern Inland Pastoral, East Golis Pastoral of Sanaag, northeastern and central Hawd Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones in July through September and will be sustained in Guban Pastoral through January.

    • In agropastoral areas, national maize and sorghum Gu production deficits are anticipated to be approximately 50 percent of normal. Crop failure is likely in Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone and localized areas of Bay and Hiiraan. In Hiiraan, severely reduced access to irrigated water prevented timely cultivation, and harvests are not expected until September. As a result of anticipated poor harvests and below-average labor income, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is expected in Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone of Hiiraan through September, while Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is anticipated in High and Low Potential Agropastoral, Riverine Pump Irrigation of Hiiraan, and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zones.

    • The October-December 2019 Deyr rains, which are forecast to be average, are expected to usher in some food security improvements. In pastoral areas of greatest concern, livestock births are anticipated to increase herd sizes, enabling poor households to engage in some distressed sales of livestock. As households would be able to marginally meet their minimum food needs through livelihoods coping, improvement to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected. The exception is Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, where herd sizes are lowest and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely to persist. In agropastoral areas of concern, access to agricultural labor income and milk is expected to improve during the Deyr. However, since green Deyr harvests will not become available until late December, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan, Bay-Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral, and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zones.


    Current Situation

    The delayed and poor start of the 2019 Gu (April-June) rains resulted in severe to exceptional drought conditions across Somalia through early May. Following the below-average 2018/19 Deyr (October-December) rains and hotter-than-normal 2019 Jilaal (January-March) dry season, the onset of the Gu was two to three weeks late. In April, satellite-derived rainfall estimates indicated that most of Somalia received less than 50 percent of normal rainfall, while worst-affected areas such as Bari, Galgaduud, and Nugaal received less than 25 percent of normal rainfall (Figure 1). By early May, rainfall deficits had led to widespread pasture and water scarcity, with vegetation measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) falling to less than 60 percent of normal in most of the South and less than 80 percent of normal in the North (Figure 2). Prior to the typical peak of the rainy season, exceptional drought conditions were prevalent in the northeast, the northwest, and parts of the south (Figure 3). In agropastoral and riverine livelihood zones, drought conditions also adversely affected crop cultivation, planting, and germination.

    Moderate to heavy rainfall from mid-May to early-June significantly improved the trajectory of Gu seasonal performance. By the end of May, cumulative rainfall increased seasonal totals to 60-80 percent of normal in most areas. Now, total cumulative rainfall combined with the 10-day forecast indicate the season is concluding at near-average levels, though parts of Awdal, Bari, Middle and Lower Shabelle, Bay-Bakool, and lower Gedo have sustained notable deficits (Figure 1). The heavy rains broke the drought cycle in most areas, apart from Bari and the Shabelles, according to a comparison of the CHIRPS Standardized Precipitation Index Drought Monitor for the two-month period of March 6 to May 5 against the three-month period of March 16 to May 15 (Figure 3). However, excessive rainfall also caused flash floods, damage to roads and homes, and some livestock mortalities, especially in Nugaal and Bari.

    As a result of increased rainfall, pasture and water availability has drastically improved, though localized areas are still experiencing below average conditions (Figure 2). Water prices have declined significantly overall, except in localized areas where water shortages persist, especially in Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing and East and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones. From April to May, the price of a 20-liter jerry can of water decreased by approximately 40 percent in the Northeast and 50 percent in the Northwest and prices are now near average levels. Prices are similarly near average in central regions, but remain 15-20 percent above average in the South.

    Extremely poor livestock body conditions were observed across Somalia during FSNAU and FEWS NET’s post-Jilaal assessment in April, but field observations in May and June confirmed significant improvements. Livestock body conditions are normal in Awdal, Bay, Hiiraan, Lower and Middle Juba, Lower and Middle Shabelle, and Woqoyi Galbeed regions. In areas recovering from more severe drought, livestock body conditions remain somewhat below average but are trending towards optimal body weight, in Bari, Galgaduud, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag, Sool, and Togdheer. Most pastoralists have returned to pursing normal seasonal migration patterns, moving short distances within their livelihood zones.

    In north-central pastoral areas, prior drought conditions led to some livestock loss, most often due to hunger-induced abortions and culling practices to protect productive female livestock. Consequently, livestock births are medium to low, despite medium livestock conception levels in the 2018/19 Deyr and access to milk is extremely limited. Due to livestock loss, fewer births, and distressed sales of livestock during the 2019 Jilaal, herd sizes have stagnated or slightly declined since December 2018 and largely remain below baseline levels. In the South, livestock births occurred at medium levels, providing some milk for poor households. Though some distressed sales have occurred, this has generally permitted herd sizes to increase to slightly below baseline levels in agropastoral areas and to baseline levels in pastoral areas. Across the country, reported birth levels are inclusive of camel and cattle; in areas where only middle and better-off households own camels, this is providing some milk gifts for the poor. The late start of Gu rains delayed livestock conceptions to May/June, but medium to high sheep/goat conceptions and medium camel and cattle conceptions are reportedly ongoing. 

    In rainfed agropastoral livelihood zones in the South, the poor onset of the Gu delayed planting by two-three weeks. Since the rains are subsiding on time in June, this means the growing season is shorter than usual. Erratic rainfall distribution led to reduced area planted, negatively affected seed germination and crop development, and caused localized crop failure. Area planted is largely below average. In Bay, a major sorghum-producing region, estimated area planted with sorghum, cowpeas, and maize is 40 percent below average. In most regions, seed germination failed or crops wilted from moister stress. Crop damage is most significant in Hiiraan as well as in regions where the contribution to total national production is minimal, including Gedo, Bakool, Lower Juba, and parts of Lower Shabelle. In coastal and adjacent inland areas of the Lower Shabelle and Lower and Middle Juba, farmers suspended Gu planting in favor of dry planting for the June-September Xagaa showers. Conversely, crop development has performed well in the districts of Afgoye, Wanlaweyn, Qansaxdheere, Diisnaoor, Balad, Jowhar, and Marka.

    In riverine areas, area planted for the main harvest is estimated to be 30-40 percent of normal and little-to-no off-season cultivation has occurred in flood recession zones. Many riverine farmers have delayed planting in anticipation of average Xagaa showers, which would support cash crops and some maize. Until early May, poor Gu rainfall in upper river catchments of the Ethiopian highlands and in river basins in Somalia caused the rivers to nearly dry up and sources of irrigation were completely suspended. Currently, observed river levels now range from below- to above-average but remain well below flood risk at observation stations, except for some localized flood damage in Jowhar district that destroyed roughly 2,000 ha of crops (Figure 4).

    In central Cowpea Belt livelihood zone, area planted was similarly below normal, but relatively better rainfall performance has support normal sorghum and cowpea crop development. In Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zone, farmers had to forego the first round of short-cycle maize cultivation. Late-planted long-cycle sorghum is in the early stages of growth and harvest prospects will be largely determined by the performance of forecast average Karan (June-September) season rainfall.

    An outbreak of desert locust has been reported in late June in coastal areas and this poses additional risk to crop harvest prospects in northwest agropastoral livelihoods. In Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone, planting and crop germination was significantly delayed until May. Later, flash floods from the Golis Mountains then destroyed most standing sorghum crops and grass fodder, leading to crop failure.

    Staple cereal prices have exhibited a stable to increasing trend during the ongoing lean season (April-June) (Figure 5). In May, the retail price of a kilogram of red sorghum in Baidoa reference markets in Bay was SOS 5,200, which is 16 percent higher than May 2018 average but 14 percent below the five-year average. The price of a kilogram of white maize in Qoryoley reference markets in Lower Shabelle was SOS 5,775, which 11 and 23 percent lower than the May 2018 and five-year averages, respectively. In agropastoral areas in the North, the retail price of a kilogram of sorghum is 10 and 20 percent above the May 2018 and five-year averages, respectively, due to low supply because of below-average 2018 Karan production.

    The prices of imported commodities remained generally stable with respect to last year and the average in most south-central regions. In the Northwest, however, essential imported food items are 5-10 percent above average mainly due to inflation but are same or slightly below last year prices. In May, in the northeast regions imported food items were 10 and 18 percent higher than last year and the recent five-year average price, respectively, due to depreciation of the local currency coupled with recent heavy rains which hampered transport networks in parts of Sool and Nugaal.

    Driven by low supply and a seasonal peak in export demand during the Ramadan and Hajj periods, livestock prices range from near to above average. In the Northeast, Northwest, and central regions, the price of a local quality goat was on average 16-30 percent above the five-year average in May. In the South, livestock prices are comparable to the five-year average. As a result of current livestock and food price trends, the goat-to-cereals terms of trade continue to remain generally near to above average. In the Northwest, the current ToT are an average 86kg/local quality goat, which is 25 and 32 percent above the regional 2018 and five-year averages, respectively. In the Northeast, the ToT are also an average 86kg/local quality goat, which is near the regional 2018 and five-year average. In central areas, the ToT are an average 70kg/local quality goat, which is 11 and 25 percent above the regional 2018 and five-year averages, respectively.  However, poor pastoralists are limited in their ability to take advantage of these ToT without depleting their livestock assets, as their herds are primarily composed of productive females and livestock less than one year old.

    In the South, the labor-to-cereals terms of trade (TOT) increased from April to May, largely due to a seasonal increase in demand for agricultural labor when the current Gu agricultural season gained momentum in May. In addition, growing economic activity in most major towns especially in the construction sector has also contributed to increased urban wage rates, except in the southern sorghum belt where increased labor competition has caused wages to slightly decline. In Bay region, for instance, a day of casual labor in May 2019 could buy 18 kg of red sorghum on average and is 5 percent lower than last year but is 13 percent above the five-year average. In Lower Juba, one day of labor wage could fetch 12 kg of white maize compared to 7 kg in 2018 and against the five-year average. Similar trends have been seen in Middle and Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle and Gedo Regions.

    According to UNHCR, 2.6 million people are internally displaced within Somalia, due to armed conflict, insecurity, and/or drought. An estimated 162,000 people were displaced from January to May 2019, which represents a 70 percent decline compared to the number of people displaced in the same period of 2018. Out of those displaced in 2019, 56 percent cite conflict and 31 percent cite drought-related causes. Approximately 5,000 people were displaced due to riverine and flash floods in May 2019 (mostly in Middle Shabelle and Hiran regions). Most internally displaced persons (IDPs) have left rural areas in Lower Shabelle, Bakool, Bay, and Sanaag to areas within or outside their region of origin. Top arrival regions include Banadir, Middle Shabelle, and Bakool. An estimated 80 percent of the total IDP population live in urban areas, which is placing pressure on limited labor opportunities and access to social support and services, including health, education and housing.

    The number of conflict-related incidents between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and insurgents has increased in 2019, most notably in Mogadishu (Banadir region) and in Bossasso (Bari region). Other areas disrupted by insecurity include Mudug, Galgaduud, Bay, Bakool, Hiiraan, Lower Juba, and Middle and Lower Shabelle, due to resurfaced clan-based conflicts over resources and land ownership in addition to the violent and prolonged armed conflict. In Banadir and Lower and Middle Shabelle, targeted assassinations, roadside bombs and armed clashes between militants and Government forces, backed by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), have been commonly reported in 2019. Conflict is driving double taxation of commodities, increased travel distance to avoid roadblocks or illegal tax payments resulting in increased transportation cost, and localized food price increases in rural markets. This adds additional strain to household purchasing power and impedes food access. 

    Funding shortfalls for humanitarian food assistance (in-kind/cash) led to a 47 percent decline in the average number of people reached with a 30-day ration in 2019 compared to the end of 2018. An average of 1,041,000 people were reached per month from January to May 2019, which is 68 percent of the target population (Figure 6). Nearly 60 percent of the population reached were located in north-central regions and 20 percent were located in Banadir. In June, it is expected that humanitarian assistance continued to reach more than 25 percent of the population in northwest Northern Inland Pastoral and northwest East Golis Pastoral livelihood zones. Conflict continues to inhibit delivery of humanitarian in-kind assistance in south-central rural Somalia.

    Extrapolating from nutrition survey results conducted by FSNAU in the December 2018 post-Deyr analysis, it is assumed that ‘Critical’ levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM) are now present in most areas, driven by lower-than-normal food access, increased waterborne illness during the rainy season, and poor access to health services. From January to April, admissions of severely malnourished children to health posts for treatment increased 92 percent, reaching a total of 148,277 cases. 45 percent of admission cases occurred in Mogadishu. In addition, around 1,728 cases of acute watery diarrhea were reported from January to April 2019, attributed in part to limited access to safe water and to prevalent food insecurity, according to the Somali Ministry of Health. The majority (46 percent) were reported in Mogadishu then followed by Bay (23 percent).

    In central and northern pastoral areas, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes exist in Addun Pastoral, northeastern Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP), Hawd Pastoral, and northeastern East Golis Pastoral livelihood zones. In northwestern NIP and northwestern East Golis Pastoral, humanitarian food assistance is mitigating worse outcomes, resulting in Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!). Although rice prices are stable and the goat-to-cereals ToT are favorable, most households have been engaging in distressed livelihoods coping or are facing moderate, widening food gaps. Milk consumption is also below-average to none. Most pastoralists have few to no non-productive animals after losing or selling a large proportion of their herds during the 2016/2017 drought years and this year’s Jilaal season. Current herd sizes have stagnated or declined since December 2018, and herds are composed of pregnant or lactating females, the next cohort of productive females, and lambs/kids less than one year old. It is expected that most poor households are willing to sell one more female and her kid to marginally meet their food needs in June, indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Where households are unwilling or unable to do this, humanitarian assistance and social support is driving Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!). In Guban Pastoral, despite the delivery of humanitarian assistance to approximately 18 percent of the population in May, large food consumption deficits persist due to unsustainable livestock holdings, extremely limited income from livestock and milk sales, and high indebtedness.

    In southern pastoral areas, food security has widely deteriorated to Stressed (IPC Phase 2), driving by the impact of drought conditions during the Jilaal. Due to deterioration of livestock body conditions during that period, poor herd saleability caused household income to decline. However, improved body conditions, relatively larger herd sizes, and some access to milk is allowing most households to meet their minimum food needs. Poor households are continuing to engage in livestock and livestock product sales, though they have had to increase sales of non-productive livestock to compensate for the cost of atypical migration during the Jilaal. The exception is Southern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone of the Juba and Shabelle regions, where poor households have above-baseline livestock assets. Due to medium calving and milk production, households are now able to access adequate income, sustaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. 

    In Northwestern and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones, households are facing their third below-average production season after two consecutive poor production seasons in 2018. Furthermore, flash floods from Golis Mountains destroyed most of standing sorghum and grass fodder crops. With no household food stocks and below-average agricultural labor income, poor households are relying primarily on markets to access food and are experiencing food consumption gaps. Most areas are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) but Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes exist in some areas of Togdheer Agropastoral where large flood destruction occurred. In Southern agropastoral areas, areas of greatest concern are Bay-Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral and Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan, where 2018/2019 Deyr crop production and current Gu crop cultivation has been very poor and income from agriculture activities are limited. Although sorghum prices remain below average, prices are increasing and household income is significantly below average, limiting households’ access to food. As poor households have below-baseline livestock holdings and access to milk is currently low, livelihoods coping strategies are limited and these households are sustaining food gaps indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In other agropastoral and riverine areas, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes prevail.


    The June 2019 to January 2020 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:

    • According to the NOAA/CPC forecast, the June to August Xagaa rains in coastal and adjacent inland areas of Lower and Middle Shabelle, Lower and Middle Juba, and southern Bay are most likely to be below average. In the northwest, the June to September Karan rains is most likely to be average.
    • According to the NOAA/CPC forecast, October to December Deyr rainfall is most likely to be average. However, uncertainty exists associated with the long-term likelihood of El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole.
    • Based on rainfall performance to date, below-average area planted, anticipated crop loss, and diversion of some crops for fodder sales, national Gu maize and sorghum production is likely to be 50 percent below average. Of this, the only areas where local production is likely to be near average is Sorghum High Potential livelihood zone of Lower and Middle Shabelle. In Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan and Togdheer Agropastoral, Gu crop failure is expected. However, Togdheer is expected to realize average to high grass fodder production due to the recent flash floods.
    • Based on rainfall performance to date, below-average area planted, and forecast average Karan rainfall, Gu/Karan production in Northwestern Agropastoral is likely to be below average.
    • Based on anticipated average Deyr rainfall and in order to recoup losses in the Gu, area planted in southern agricultural areas are likely to be above average. Farmers will rely on kinship and loans to access seeds for planting.
    • Agricultural labor demand in southern agropastoral areas is expected to be below-average through the end of the Xagaa season in August/September. In the Deyr, labor demand is expected to be average despite above-average area planted.
    • Based on current vegetation conditions and forecast average Karan rainfall, rangelands resources throughout most of Somalia are likely to last through August or September. However, local areas still affected by drought in the northeast and along the coast, given below-average Xagaa rainfall, are likely to remain below average. Anticipated Deyr rainfall is likely to seasonally replenish pasture and water resources in November to January.
    • Given improved vegetation, livestock body conditions are expected to be optimal through July, then seasonally decline through October. Average Deyr rainfall is expected to lead to seasonal improvement again in November to January.
    • Based on conceptions during the Gu, medium cattle calving is likely in January in the South. Medium to low camel births are expected in July and November. Sheep/goat births are expected to be medium to high across the country in October. As a result, poor households are expected to access some camel milk gifts through January. Though current milk production is below average, milk is expected to return to typical levels by October.
    • Given low livestock supply, livestock prices are expected to be near to above average through January. A contributing factor is increased national and export demand due to seasonal Ramadan and Hajj activities through at least September.
    • As a result of two consecutive below-average production seasons, the low domestic staple cereal supply is expected to lead to an increase in sorghum and maize prices through November. Local cereals prices will likely be slightly below their 5-year average but above last year levels.
    • Imported volumes of staple foods and diesel are expected to decline through September, due to limited maritime trade during the Indian Ocean monsoon season. Anticipated insecurity in the Middle East is also likely to cause volatility in oil prices, contributing to an increase in transport costs. As a result, the price of imported food commodities in the North, including rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, and sugar, are expected to be above average.
    • The Somali shilling (SOS) is generally likely to be stable against major foreign currencies but will somewhat be influenced by reduced imports during the monsoon high sea closure season between April and September, high demand for shilling related to the expected livestock exports, and the limited supply of the paper Somali shilling notes in circulation. The Somaliland Shilling (SLS) is also likely to be stable with slight fluctuations around the rates of SLS 9,000 to 10,000 against one United States dollar in the outlook period.
    • Household purchasing power measured by the goats-to-cereal terms of trade (ToT) is expected to be average to slightly above average, driven favorable livestock prices, the stable SOS and SLS, and anticipated cereal prices. Labor-to-cereal ToT is expected to follow seasonal trends at near- to slightly above-average levels. The labor-to-cereal ToT will likely peak in July-September after the arrival of cereals from Gu production.
    • Based on current trends, conflict between the governments of Somalia supported by AMISOM and other International partners and clan conflict over land and resource management is expected to continue to contribute to loss of life, displacement, disruption to livelihoods, and restrictions on access to trade and humanitarian assistance. Disagreement between the Somali federal and regional states could further result in a lapse in the provision of security services. Conflict is most likely to affect the Shabelles, Jubas, Bay, Bakool, Hiiraan, Gedo and Galgaduud regions.
    • According to the Somalia Food Security Cluster, planned humanitarian food assistance would reach 1.9 million people or 15 percent of the population from July to September, but funding has not been fully secured. Assistance would consist of in-kind/cash equivalent 30-day rations. Since funding cannot be confirmed, an absence of food assistance is assumed.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Pastoral areas

    In the absence of large-scale humanitarian assistance, food security is expected to rapidly worsen to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through September in Northern Inland Pastoral, East Golis Pastoral of Sanaag, northeastern and central Hawd Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral, while Guban Pastoral is expected to sustain Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Although most poor households are expected to sell one female goat and her kid in June to finance food purchases, it is expected that they are unwilling or unable to sell enough productive female livestock to marginally meet their minimum food needs from July to September. Although some camel milk gifts are expected from middle and better-off households, this is likely to seasonally decline during the dry season. Further, little to no own goat milk is expected to be available for consumption due to low births. It is also expected that poor households, who were already heavily indebted due to the prolonged impact of the 2016/17 drought on livestock assets, have maximized their debt and credit options due to the impact of the 2019 drought. In order to access additional debt or credit, households would have to sell more livestock to pay off existing debt. Given very limited income from livestock sales and few other food and income sources, households are expected to experience large food gaps despite favorable terms of trade. The prevalence of acute malnutrition is expected to be sustained at ‘Serious’ (GAM WHZ 10-14.9) or ‘Critical’ (GAM WHZ 15-29.9) levels in most areas through September, due to increased waterborne disease incidence in the Gu, limited milk availability, and food deficits. Risk of excess mortality associated with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely.

    In East Golis Pastoral of Bari, Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing, and Hawd Pastoral of Northwest, poor households are expected to be able to sell some livestock and milk, but not enough to prevent moderate food gaps. In Coastal Deeh, fishing opportunities will also be seasonally low during the Indian Ocean Monsoon season. Given low food and income sources and high debt levels, most poor households will likely be unable to purchase or borrow enough quantities of food and are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. The poorest households may fall into Emergency (IPC Phase 4). In Juba Pastoral, West Golis Pastoral, and Southern Inland Pastoral of Bakool, Gedo, and Hiiraan livelihood zones, livestock herd sizes are relatively sustainable but still below baseline levels, permitting poor households to meet their basic food needs. However, given higher cereal prices, households are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In Southern Inland Pastoral of Juba and Lower Shabelle regions, where livestock assets are normal, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is likely.

    From October to January, medium to high livestock births are expected to lead to sufficient herd growth and access to milk in areas of greatest concern to permit poor households to marginally meet their minimum food needs. Increased livestock sales and milk consumption are expected to minimize food gaps, as poor households will be able to repay and take on more debt/credit or will be able to purchase food. This is expected to drive improvement from Emergency (IPC Phase 4) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with the exception of Guban Pastoral livelihood zone. In Hawd Pastoral of Northwest and East Golis of Bari, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist since pastoralists are expected to divert income from livestock sales to repay large debts accrued in late 2017/18 and early 2019. However, Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing is expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) given resumed access to and income from fishing.

    Agropastoral Areas

    From June to September, food security is expected to deteriorate from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan and from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in High Potential Sorghum Agropastoral, Riverine Pump Irrigation of Hiiraan, and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zones. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to be sustained in Bay-Bakool Low Potential, Northwestern, and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones. Food insecurity is expected to be driven by significantly below-average Gu production, resulting in below-average household and market food stocks and below-average household income. Household food stocks are expected to be sufficient for only one to two months in most areas. However, localized crop failure is expected to drive more severe outcomes in some areas. Needs will be greatest in Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan, as this will be the third successive season of crop failure. In Togdheer Agropastoral, the failed Gu harvest is likely to be partially mitigated by average to good grass fodder production. In Riverine Pump Irrigation of Hiiraan, due to extremely limited access to irrigated water, poor households will only harvest off-season Gu crops in September. Throughout these areas, many households are expected to engage in distressed livestock sales, eroding their coping capacity since most herds remain below baseline levels. In contrast, as households along the Juba river rely more heavily on cash crop production that is more drought tolerant, poor households are expected to be able meet their food needs and be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The prevalence of acute malnutrition is expected to be sustained at ‘Serious’ (GAM WHZ 10-14.9) or ‘Critical’ (GAM WHZ 15-29.9) levels through September, as a result of increased waterborne disease incidence from the Gu, suspected cases of measles, confirmed malaria cases, and reduced food availability and access.

    From October to January, access to agricultural labor income and milk is expected to improve during the Deyr. However, household cereal stocks will be limited and quickly depleted. Although staple food prices are expected to remain below the five-year average, prices are likely to rise to above the 2018 average, straining household purchasing power. Due to below-baseline herd sizes, improved milk is unlikely to reach average levels and livestock sales would still constitute distressed sales. Given that net food and income sources are expected to remain below average, and that green Deyr harvests will not become available until late December, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to be sustained in Togdheer Agropastoral, Bay-Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral, and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zones. Southern Agropastoral of Hiiraan is expected to improve from Emergency (IPC Phase 4) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zones, the Gu/Karan harvest is expected in November, improving food availability and access for many households. However, as the harvest is expected to be below average, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to be sustained.

    Events that Might Change the Outlook

    Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario.

    AreaEventImpact on food security outcomes
    NationalDelayed onset of October-December 2019 Deyr rainfall in the October-January projection periodShould the onset of the forecast average Deyr rains be delayed by 20-30 days, agropastoral households in South/Central would experience a third consecutive season of below-average production due to the shortened crop growing period. This would also extend the lean season to January, increase cereal prices to above average, and reduce agriculture labor income. Herd sizes would likely be further depleted through distressed sales and low productivity and reproduction. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) would be sustained in agropastoral of Hiiraan and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) would be widespread.

    Agropastoral areas in south-central Somalia

    Above-average October-December Deyr rainfall in the October-January projection period

    In northern and central Somalia, pasture and water would exceptionally improve, and this would lead to high livestock conception rates. Expected medium to high livestock births would further increase herd sizes, although they would remain below baseline levels. Pastoral households in Addun, NIP, Hawd Pastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral, and East Golis Pastoral would still face food consumption gaps due to limited livestock to sell, but milk consumption would be significantly higher than currently expected. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) would still be most likely, but food gaps would be minimized.

    In agropastoral areas and in the South, the rains would support above-average Deyr harvests and labor, improving food access. More households would improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2). However, above-average rainfall in riverine areas would cause flooding, resulting in reduced food and income sources. Poor households and even some middle-income households could enter Emergency (IPC Phase 4) with few options for coping, no access to labor markets, and an extreme curtailment of trade. 

    Scaled up assistance at levels similar to

    Sustained, large-scale humanitarian assistance would improve food security outcomes and could lead to further improvements in many areas. Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes would be likely.

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

    Figures Stressed and Crisis outcomes are expected in most areas, though Minimal outcomes are likely in some southern areas while Emer

    Figure 1

    Source: FEWS NET/FSNAU

    Widespread anomalies by April 30 showing rainfall less than 50 percent of normal across the country. By June 30 forecast rain

    Figure 2

    Figure 1.

    Source: FEWS NET/Climate Hazards Group

    Figure 3

    Figure 2.

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Extreme to exceptional drought persisted over most of the country by May 5. By June 15, moderate to exceptional drought exist

    Figure 4

    Figure 3.

    Source: FEWS NET/Climate Hazards Group

    The graphic depicts river water levels compared to last year, the long-term mean, and various flood risk levels. 2019 levels

    Figure 5

    Figure 4.

    Source: FAO SWALIM

    The graph shows the price of sorghum in Bay and maize in Qorioley in 2018 and 2019 relative to average. In both areas, prices

    Figure 6

    Figure 5.

    Source: FSNAU and FEWS NET

    Figure 7

    Figure 6.

    Source: Somalia Food Security Cluster

    The graph shows the projected price of goats in Garowe which are expected to remain around 2-2.5 million shillings, above las

    Figure 8

    Figure 7.


    The graph shows the projected price of sorghum in Baidoa, which is expected to be slightly above last year but still below th

    Figure 9

    Figure 8.


    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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