Ongoing Massive Drought And Food Insecurity Crisis In Somalia


Back-to-back seasons of poor or non-existent rainfall in 2015, exacerbated by the strongest El Niño phenomenon on record in the same year, led to the worst drought in decades in Ethiopia in 2016. While the country continues to respond to residual needs from the past drought, below average rains in the southern and eastern parts of the country caused by the negative Indian Ocean Dipole have left 5.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017. Some US$948 million is urgently required to respond to the new humanitarian needs.


Reports From 2015-2017


priority was given to the  acute food insecurity and high levels of malnutrition, Increased levels of forced evictions and appalling living conditions for internally displaced people as Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) and measles continued to threaten the lives of Somalis,  Countrywide acute malnutrition levels were lowered from 14.9 to 12 per cent.

To Scale up food security and livelihood activities. Increase assistance to people affected by forced evictions and invest in potential areas of returns to augment their absorptive capacity and strengthen humanitarian and development linkages focusing on durable solutions for internally displaced people, resilience and provision of basic services such as health and water.

Later the year widespread, heavy rain has caused flooding over localities of West Africa.

Somaliland experienced an acute drought that has affected more than 240,000 people (40,000 Households) due to the shortfall of the Gu (April-June) rains in 2014 and 2015. The most affected regions are Awdal, Maroodijeeh, and Gebiley, which are traditionally the main food producing regions. Other regions affected include Selel and Sahil.

As a result of the failed rains, there has been poor crop production, acute shortage of water, and death of livestock – a key source of livelihood for communities in Somaliland. Consequentially, malnutrition was at its highest peak among infants, small children, the elderly, sick and other vulnerable groups.

The effects of the El Niño phenomenon extend several months into 2016.

October 2015

With rains intensifying, pre-positioning of food was in full swing. WFP had pre-positioned logistical assets, such as helicopter and boats in strategic locations to complement the existing logistical footprint, access constraints were limiting preparedness and response in the Juba valley and required close coordination with other food security actors while the he food security and nutrition situation in Somalia continued to be extremely fragile

November 2015

WFP airlifted nutrition products to Somaliland to respond to rising levels of malnutrition.Both satellite-based estimates and ground reports confirmed that moderate to heavy rains of between 10 to 100 millimeters (mm) were received in many areas of the southern and central regions from November 1 to 10, 2015 (Figure 1). Near average amounts of rain fell in many parts of the northwestern and northeastern regions, but there was still very little rain in many areas of Bari Region and coastal areas along the Indian Ocean.

FSNAU and partners conducted seasonal food security and nutrition assessments twice per year (Gu and Deyr), covering rural, urban and displaced populations across Somalia. The 2015 Gu seasonal assessment was undertaken from May to July 2015 .

Humanitarian Action for Children 2016: Somalia

Somalia Total affected population: 4.9 million
Total affected children (under 18): 2 million
Total people to be reached in 2016: 3.6 million
Total children to be reached in 2016: 1.5 million 2016 programme targets

•110,000 children under 5 years suffering from SAM admitted to therapeutic treatment programmes

•2.3 million people in high-risk areas accessed basic health services
•445,000 children under 1 year immunized against measles

•642,000 people provided with safe water (7.5-15 litres per person per day)

  • 200,000 people in emergency situations have access to gender-sensitive sanitation facilities equipped with hand washing facilities

Child protection
•1,500 unaccompanied and separated children provided with access to basic services

•50,000 school-aged children, including adolescents, accessed quality education (including through temporary structures)

Social protection
•16,000 labour-constrained households received predictable monthly cash transfers

Results from 2015
As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 46 per cent (US$51.4 million) of the US$111.7 million 2015 appeal, in addition to US$46.8 million carried forward from 2014. In 2015, UNICEF admitted 79,523 children under 5 years with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) into therapeutic treatment programmes, supported 328,514 children under 5 years to access essential health services, and enabled 79,376 pregnant women to attend antenatal visits.

Some 10,200 vulnerable people received cash transfers, enabling them to meet critical basic needs. In 2015, UNICEF supported efforts to identify, trace and reunify 666 separated and unaccompanied children, and assisted 8,937 children and women survivors of physical and sexual violence and 769 children formerly associated with armed forces and groups with quality essential services. Some 22,455 children and adolescents in temporary learning spaces received education support and 1,106 members of community education committees were trained to provide effective school management. The UNICEF resilience programme worked to build the capacity of local communities to address health concerns and protect and educate their children. From January to June 2016, UNICEF provided humanitarian assistance to drought-affected populations in Somaliland and Puntland, as well as to communities affected by floods and the Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera outbreak in central and southern regions.

November 2016

Moderate to Extreme drought conditions were experienced in the country. The negative trends were not expected to reverse until the next rains, which were anticipated in April 2017.During the month of October 2016, most parts of Somalia recorded poor rainfall amounts, with most regions registering 25 to 50 percent of average. Vegetation conditions worsened and drought conditions strengthened and continued to affect pasture, water, livestock and crops, with vegetation cover (NDVI) 60 to 70 percent of average in southern regions.

Prospects of Deyr cereal production is bleak, with crop failure expected in many areas. Juba and Shabelle river levels were currently below normal. Hot and dry weather conditions persisted in most parts of Somalia in September and October 2016. High temperatures combined with lack of rainfall, caused water stress to crops, livestock and water resources. This has led to drought conditions in most parts of the country, ranging from moderate to extreme.

January 2017

Following a poor April to June 2016 Gu season and failed October to December 2016 Deyr season, food security has deteriorated significantly across Somalia, with an increasing number of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, and in need of emergency food assistance.

1-17 January 2017

Somali arrivals since 1 January 2017, based on reports from Melkadida (as of 17 January 2017)

Total Somali refugees and asylum-seekers in Ethiopia (both in Melkadida and Jijiga as of 17 January 2017)

FUNDING (as of 3 January 2017)

USD 71.2 M
Requested by UNHCR for the Somali Refugee Situation in Ethiopia
Funded 20%
Gap 80%


1,325 Somalis have arrived in Melkadida, Ethiopia since 1 January 2017. 1,066 new arrivals have been registered by the Government of Ethiopia and UNHCR and relocated to the Kobe and Melkadida refugee camps, whilst 133 persons await relocation.

On average, 100 persons arrived on a daily basis from 1 September to 17 January 2017.

72% of the total registered new arrivals are children, whilst 88% are women and children.

The new arrivals, mostly originating from the Bay region (65%), Middle Juba (15%) and Gedo (8%), reported to have fled conflicts, exacerbated by food insecurity in Somalia.

As of 17 January 2017, Ethiopia has more than 242,000 registered Somali refugees.

In February 2017 President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo described the drought facing more than six million Somalis today as a “national disaster” and appealed to the international community to help raise $825 million to prevent the crisis from deteriorating into a famine during the first half of this year. Addressing a high-level roundtable meeting on the drought response in Somalia, the President said the drought had depleted livestock which represent the only asset many Somali people have.

More than $400 million has been pledged by donors to support an escalation of the drought response, and the Humanitarian Coordinator urged donors to expedite disbursement of these funds to allow partners to scale up their work.

According to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network that are managed by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the number of Somalis in need of assistance has risen sharply in recent months, from an estimated 5 million in September 2016 to over 6.2 million today. The figure represents more than half of Somalia’s entire population. The number of Somalis facing “crisis” and “emergency” conditions of food insecurity has also risen from 1.1 million six months ago to a projected 3 million this year.

Ongoing, 10 March 2017

2.9 million people in IPC Phases 3 and 4 (Feb through June 2017)*

3.3 million people in IPC Phase 2 (Feb through June 2017)*

2.76 million people expected to be assisted by WFP in 2017

FSNAU post-Deyr assessment released in February 2017


WFP scaled up its emergency drought response in February, reaching nearly 1 million people in the country requiring USD 290 million in order to provide immediate relief assistance and lifesaving nutrition services to the most vulnerable people in drought affected areas for the next six months.

Situation Update

Severe drought conditions are worsening the food and nutrition crisis currently facing half of the Somali population.

In rural areas, consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and low river water levels have resulted in near total crop failures and reduced rural employment opportunities.

Throughout the country, there is widespread shortage of water and pasture, resulting in increases in livestock deaths, and rapidly diminishing access to food among poor households. Prices of local food staples have risen sharply while livestock prices have decreased significantly. In the southern regions of Bay and Bakool and Gedo, these conditions are prompting migration to urban centres in Gedo region, Mogadishu and into Ethiopia.

09 Mar 2017 Forty-seven children have died from hunger-related ailments in Banaadir Hospital in the Somali capital over the last two months, according to the head of the hospital’s pediatric unit, Dr. Luul Mohamud Mohamed.

At least 1,200 children were treated for severe malnutrition at the medical facility in the same period.

The Ethiopian Government and partners are currently supplying more than 7706 cubic meter of water per day with 351 water trucks operating in 117 woredas, leaving a gap of 283 water trucks. To meet all identified needs for 4.6 million people e in the drought-hit areas, at least 634 water trucks are needed to supply 13,919 cubic meter of water per day in 188 woredas. Approximately 24 million USD is required to truck water until June 2017. Meanwhile, in all regions, rehabilitation of permanent water supply systems is given precedence, for sustainable and cheaper solution.





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