*Nearly three decades of instability in Somalia have resulted in widespread insecurity, poverty and recurrent food and nutrition crises. Somalia is also prone to natural hazards, such as droughts and floods, which exacerbate food insecurity. *
• Approximately 1.5 million people in Somalia face Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity and will likely require emergency food assistance through June, according to the Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).* An additional 3.4 million people are experiencing Stressed (IPC 2) levels of acute food insecurity and require livelihoods support to prevent more severe levels of food insecurity.
• Following below-average October-to-December 2018 deyr rainfall, the April-to-June 2019 gu rainfall is expected to be lower than initially anticipated due to Tropical Cyclone Idai driving moisture away from the East Africa region in late March. The drier-than-normal conditions are driving food insecurity, as households have begun spending more of their income on water, adding to already high debt levels. Significant loss of pasture resources is leading to declining livestock conditions and milk production among pastoralist households, who may be forced to further reduce herd sizes if gu rainfall is poor, according to FEWS NET. Additionally, limited agricultural production and low demand for agricultural labor will limit food access for farming households. Some poor households have already exhausted food stocks and are entirely dependent on markets to purchase food. Conditions resulting from the upcoming gu season will be a major determinant of the 2019 food needs.
• More than 900,000 children younger than five years of age will be malnourished in 2019, including 138,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition, according to FSNAU-FEWS NET. While November–December 2018 surveys indicated an overall improved nutrition situation in Somalia compared to 2017 due to a large-scale humanitarian response and a decrease in acute watery diarrhea outbreaks, high levels of acute malnutrition persist due to high morbidity, low immunization and poor child care and feeding practices.
• USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food-insecure Somali households and internally displaced persons (IDPs) countrywide with emergency food and nutrition assistance, as well as livelihoods support. FFP partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) and other humanitarian organizations to provide in-kind food and nutrition assistance, as well as income support and other market-based activities, such as unconditional cash transfers for food, cash-for-work activities, food vouchers and food-for-vocational training. FFP also provides funding for the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women.