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Somalia Humanitarian Bulletin, 1 - 31 August 2019

Countries
Somalia
Sources
OCHA
Publication date

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Aid agencies warn of lowest cereal production since 2011

  • A quarter million Somalis newly displaced this year

  • Somalia marks World Humanitarian Day

  • Women’s champion honored on WHD

  • Funding shortfall hinders humanitarian response

Lowest cereal production since 2011

Late and erratic rains during the 2019 Gu’s cropping season (April-June) coupled with low river levels resulted in the poorest cereal harvest since the 2011 famine threaten an already fragile food security situation in the country.

According to the 2019 Post-Gu’ results issued on 2 September by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), cereal production was up to 70 per cent below average in the southern areas for the Gu’ 2019 cropping season. The resulting shortfall is linked to abnormally high prices of sorghum observed throughout the season. The analysis also indicates that, in the absence of humanitarian assistance, up to 2.1 million people across Somalia face severe hunger through December 2019, bringing the total number of Somalis expected to be food insecure by the of the year to 6.3 million.

Climatic shocks coupled with conflict, widespread poverty and vulnerability are among the key drivers that have trapped millions of Somalis in severe hunger (IPC Phase 3, "Crisis" and IPC Phase 4, "emergency") and malnutrition.

Widespread malnutrition persists across the country and one million children are projected to be acutely malnourished over the next year, including 180,000 who are likely to be severely malnourished—if interventions are not scaled up. More than 2.6 million people are estimated to be internally displaced across the country, either scattered among host communities in rural areas or living in formal and informal settlements on the outskirts of urban centres. “Climatic shocks exacerbate needs. However, these shocks do not have to lead to a largescale catastrophe. We must continue to work collectively to strengthen the capacity of Somalia to withstand these climatic shocks and identify durable solutions. As we collectively advocate for and respond to urgent and acute humanitarian need, we must continue to invest in efforts to identify durable solutions,” said Hamza Said Hamza, the Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.

Against this backdrop, the Somalia humanitarian operation remains under-funded with the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan having received US$ 494 million by end of August - less than half the requirement. “I thank the donor community for the swift support for the Drought Impact Response Plan (DIRP), which enabled humanitarian agencies to scale-up response and keep nearly 1.9 million out of acute food insecurity through September 2019. However, the DIRP is currently just under 50 per cent funded and without additional resources and sustained collective response, 2.1 million people will face severe food insecurity through December. Humanitarian partners stand ready to respond, but they cannot do so without sufficient resources. I urge all donors to continue to step up support to enable the provision of life-saving assistance to the large numbers of people in Somalia who are in need of assistance,” said George Conway, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

A quarter million Somalis newly displaced

More than a quarter of a million people have been displaced between January and July this year largely due to drought and conflict. According to the UNHCR/NRC-led Protection Return and Monitoring Network (PRMN), more than 100,000 people were newly displaced by drought in 2019. This is 50 per cent lower than recorded for the same period in 2018.

However, an increase was reported in July with an estimated 28,000 people newly displaced - a 57 per cent increase compared to June.

Armed conflict and insecurity have also uprooted an estimated 126,000 people from their homes as of July, according to PRMN. Conflict-induced displacement in 2019 has remained below levels observed during the same period in 2018 when 208,000 people were displaced. Most of the conflict-related displacement occurred in Lower Shabelle where armed operations by Somali security forces backed by international partners against the Al-Shabaab group resumed in April 2019.

Evictions, sometimes forced with little or no warning, also continued to rise with an estimated 134,000 displaced person affected in the first half of the year. Of these, some 108,000 people were evicted in Mogadishu alone.

Humanitarian partners continue to provide life-saving, livelihood support and to advocate for durable solutions for internally displaced persons. In July, the shelter cluster assisted nearly 33,000 persons with standard household kits comprising of plastic sheets, blankets, jerry cans, sleeping mats and kitchen sets. Emergency and transitional shelter kits were also provided to newly displaced persons. Efforts to mitigate or prevent forced evictions continue. The Banadir Regional Administration has also adopted an eviction guideline that reinforce human rights standards and other legal or policy provisions.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.