Since early 2018, the food security situation improved and the risk of famine declined due to the delivery of large-scale humanitarian assistance and the availability of newly harvested “deyr” crops.
According to the latest multi-agency assessment, about 2.7 million people, more than one-fifth of the total population, are currently estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC Phases 3: “Crisis” and 4: “Emergency”), over 15 percent less than the estimated caseload in late 2017.
However, the current caseload is still almost three times the estimate of mid-2016, reflecting the dramatic impact on the local livelihoods of consecutive poor rainy seasons.
The areas of major concern are central regions of Bay, Hiraan, Mudug and Galgadud and northern regions of Sanag and Sool, where 30-45 percent of the population is severely food insecure.
Drought-related displacements declined significantly in the second semester of 2017, when 190 000 people were displaced compared to 649 000 during the first semester.
However, it is reported that only 44 000 individuals have returned to their places of origin between July and December 2017 and the displaced caseload is currently estimated at high 2.7 million.
Despite access constraints due to insecurity, humanitarian assistance has been substantially scaled up in the second semester of 2017, with the monthly number of assisted beneficiaries increasing from half a million individuals in January to 2.2 million in October-December 2017, mitigating the overall food insecurity and averting IPC Phase 5: “Famine” in the worst affected areas.
In addition to emergency life-saving assistance, a timely and effective support to the agricultural sector is required to mitigate the extent of the impact of the prolonged drought on pastoralist and agro-pastoralist livelihoods. To respond to the needs of the crisis-hit herders and farmers, FAO aims to assist 2.7 million individuals in 2018, appealing for USD 236 million.