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Publication | 2022

Somalia: Acute Food Insecurity Projection Update March 2022 and April - June 2022

Worsening drought is putting some areas and population groups across Somalia at risk of Famine through June 2022 if the current April to June Gu season rains fail, food prices continue to rise sharply and humanitarian assistance is not scaled up to reach the country’s most vulnerable populations. These areas are Hawd Pastoral livelihood of Central and Hiran, Addun Pastoral livelihood of Northeast and Central, Bay Bakool Low Potential Agro Pastoral livelihood and IDP settlements in Mogadishu, Baidoa and Dhusamareb.

Acute food insecurity in Somalia has drastically worsened since the beginning of 2022, with an estimated 4.8 million people experiencing Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher) conditions (or 31% of the total population). Further and faster deterioration of the food security and nutrition situation is expected during the April to June 2022 projection period, with over 6 million people facing Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher), representing 38 percent of the total population), including 1.7 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and more than 81,000 facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). High levels of humanitarian needs are expected to persist through late 2022. Urgent and timely scaling up of humanitarian assistance is required to prevent extreme food security and nutrition outcomes, including the risk of Famine.

The deteriorating food security and nutrition situation across many parts of Somalia is due to worsening consecutive multi-season drought that has gripped the country since late 2020. Current climate forecasts indicate increased likelihood of below average 2022 Gu season rainfall in most parts of central and southern Somalia. In northern regions where Gu rains are forecast to be near average, the extended impact of the ongoing drought will persist at least through mid-2022.

Many rural households face widening food consumption gaps and the erosion of their livelihoods limits their coping capacity, contributing to a surge in population displacement from rural areas to IDP settlements and towns and cities. Acute malnutrition is already at Critical levels in many areas of central and southern Somalia and the number of acutely malnourished children being admitted to treatment centers is rapidly increasing, with two to four-fold increases reported in some districts.

In addition to the six population groups that face the risk of Famine, other areas of concern include Southern Agropastoral, Southern Rain-fed Agropastoral of Middle and Lower Juba, Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones and IDP settlements in Burao, Garoowe, Belet Weyne, Doolow and Kismaayo which face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between April and June 2022.

Current levels of humanitarian food assistance which reached 1.3 million people in January and 2 million people in February are quickly being outpaced by the rapid increase in the size of the food insecure population, influx of newly displaced people, widening of household food consumption gaps, loss of livelihood assets, and worsening hunger and acute malnutrition. Past trends demonstrate the potential for multi-season droughts to lead to famine in Somalia, as observed in 2010-2011 when an estimated 260,000 people died of hunger-related causes. Timely humanitarian action prevented more extreme outcomes during the severe drought of 2016-2017. Urgent and timely scaling up of humanitarian assistance is required to prevent extreme food security and nutrition outcomes, including the risk of Famine between now and June 2022.