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Emergency outcomes are expected in some drought- and flood-affected areas

  • Key Message Update
  • Somalia
  • May 2023
Emergency outcomes are expected in some drought- and flood-affected areas

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite high levels of multi-sectoral assistance, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes remain widespread across Somalia, with some households in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Severe outcomes are expected to persist through September, and humanitarian assistance remains vital to preventing even worse outcomes in many areas. According to field reports, flood-affected households are reportedly not receiving significant emergency food assistance. As such, agropastoral areas of Hiiraan, urban Beletweyne, and displacement settlements in Beletweyne are now expected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes through September, alongside drought-affected pastoral areas of central Somalia. A Risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) is assessed to persist among IDP populations in Baidoa, Mogadishu, Galkacyo, and Dhusamareeb, and in pastoral areas in central Somalia, including in the Addun Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones.

    • Cumulative rainfall in May was average to above average in most northwestern and northeastern regions of Somalia, but below average throughout most of the southern and central regions, with many areas receiving as little as 30-45 percent of the long-term (1981-2010) average rainfall. This worsened cumulative rainfall deficits for the April to June gu season in much of south/central Somalia, with large parts of Bay, Bakool, Hiiraan, and Middle Shabelle regions registering the greatest deficits (of 50-100 mm) by the end of May. In Hiiraan and south Mudug regions, crop development and pasture and water replenishment has been significantly hampered. These areas are likely to realize a poor gu crop harvest in July, and pastoralists will likely be increasingly forced to migrate their livestock to Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud regions as resources deplete during the dry period from July to September. Available forecasts indicate that rainfall in June will likely be below average over central and northeastern coastal areas, and above average across the rest of the country.

    • Between May 9 and 23, flooding of the Shabelle River significantly affected the Beledweyne and Buloburte districts of Hiiraan region and parts of the Jowhar district of the Middle Shabelle region. The flooding caused significant population displacement in urban areas (such as Beletweyne town, which is already home to many internally displaced people) and destruction of crops and assets in rural areas. Due to access constraints, marketing and trade activities were suspended, leaving many households who normally depend on casual labor opportunities, petty trade, and firewood/charcoal sales without the income needed to buy food and essential non-food commodities. The population displacement also resulted in a further decline of already overstretched social support within affected communities, as many better-off displaced households fled to Mogadishu to avoid insecure areas on the outskirts of flood-affected towns. In riverine areas, crop damage due to flooding – as well as poor gu rains in Hiiraan – will likely drive a significantly below-average gu harvest in affected areas, limiting access to associated food and income. Recessional cultivation is likely to start in mid-June, providing some agricultural labor opportunities for poor households, with the harvest likely in September.

    • According to FEWS NET's price projections in Baidoa and Qorioley (major markets for locally-produced cereals), local staple cereal prices – which have generally returned to levels recorded in late 2021 – are anticipated to follow typical seasonal trends but remain higher than the ten-year (2013-2022) average throughout the projection period. Prices are likely to increase during the remainder of the agricultural lean season until July, and then decrease again alongside increased supply from gu harvests in rainfed areas and some off-season production. Household and market cereal stocks in 2023 will likely be better than in 2022, supported by expected near-average to above-average gu cereal harvests within Somalia and supplies from source markets in Ethiopia.

    • According to information from the Somalia Food Security Cluster (FSC), 3.9 million people were reached with emergency humanitarian food assistance in April 2023. This is less than the previously planned total of 5.2 million people in April, potentially due to funding shortfalls. Previous FSC plans indicated that 5.1 million people and 4.0 million people would be reached in May and June, respectively. However, only 28 percent of the 2.6 billion USD required for the 2023 humanitarian response plan had been funded as of the end of May, and it is possible that the actual number of beneficiaries reached in May and June will also be less than what was previously planned. As of the end of May, plans for assistance from July to September remain unavailable. However, should assistance levels decline significantly, greatest concern for further deterioration in food security outcomes exists among households living in displacement settlements in the central regions of the country, where Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are already projected in the June to September period.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Somalia Key Message Update, May 2023: Emergency outcomes are expected in some drought- and flood-affected areas, 2023.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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