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SOMALIA Beled-Xaawo Urban Food Security Assessment

  • Special Report
  • Somalia
  • November 5, 2014
SOMALIA Beled-Xaawo Urban Food Security Assessment

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface

  • Preface

    FEWS NET Somalia and partners conducted an urban food security survey in Beled-Xaawo in April 2014 to explore ways of improving urban food security monitoring. This Special Report describes the results of that survey.

    Key Messages
    • Acute food insecurity was not significant in Beled-Xaawo in April 2014.

    • Imported rice and wheat flour rather than locally-produced cereals were found to be the main staples in Beled-Xaawo town. This means that the current, sorghum-based minimum expenditure basket is not applicable for the town. Further research on main staples in other urban areas is recommended to see if this issue is particular to Beled-Xaawo or if it is more generalized, likely in other urban areas some distance from major sorghum-producing areas.

    • Casual labor, such as construction work and portage, and charcoal and firewood sales were confirmed to be important sources of income. However, petty trade, particularly in small livestock and livestock products, as well as the sale of own-produced livestock and livestock products were significantly more important than the sum of other income sources previously assumed to be the key. Remittances are also an important source of income for some households. Although Beled-Xaawo’s location at the intersection of the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia may make livestock trade and remittances exceptional in this regard, the information suggests that assumptions regarding income sources in other urban areas need to be validated for effective food security monitoring.

    • Water purchases accounted for 8-9 percent of household expenditures. This suggests that the minimum expenditure basket should be revised to more accurately take this major expense into account.

    • The Kenyan shilling was found to be the major currency in use in Beled-Xaawo town, attributable to the proximity of the Mandera and northeastern Kenya and the high volume of cross-border trade. Economic shifts and exchange rates in Kenya are, therefore, important to Beled-Xaawo’s market and economy.

    Occasionally, FEWS NET will publish a Special Report that serves to provide an in-depth analysis of food security issues of particular concern that are not covered in FEWS NET’s regular monthly reporting. These reports may focus on a specific factor driving food security outcomes anywhere in the world during a specified period of time. For example, in 2019, FEWS NET produced a Special Report on widespread flooding in East Africa and its associated impacts on regional food security.

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