Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Somalia

April 26, 2016

Food Security Situation

Map of Somalia
CIA World Factbook
  • The recent assessment from the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) reports that 38 percent of the Somali population are acutely food insecure and will need humanitarian assistance between now and June 2016[i]. Currently, over one million people are in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) phases of food insecurity, 68 percent of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs). 305,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, including 58,000 who are severely malnourished and need live-saving nutritional support.

  • Due to below normal rainfall caused by El Niño and several failed rains since 2014, drought conditions persist in Somaliland and Puntland in northern Somalia, leading to abnormal livestock out-migration and deaths, population displacements to urban centers and a sharp increase in debt levels among poor households. Although the area saw some improvement in pasture and water availability following the deyr rains, livestock in-migration from drought-affected areas of Djibouti and Ethiopia have added pressure and resources will likely be exhausted soon. While Somaliland has begun to receive rainfall - improving pasture and water resources - the heavy downpours have also brought flash floods, taking six lives and injuring others. It has also caused a spike in livestock deaths due to hypothermia. As of late April, the rains had yet to begin in Puntland, where dry conditions have deteriorated to extreme levels.  

  • Food security in central and southern Somalia is improving due to above-average harvests and improved livestock conditions, but persistent insecurity, conflict and restricted humanitarian access continue to create challenges to delivering assistance in this area. The FAO Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) program has identified areas along the Shabelle and Juba rivers that are at risk of breakage during the March-May gu rains. SWALIM is communicating with local authorities and communities regarding the potential flooding and coordinating with partner agencies to increase disaster preparedness efforts.  

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) targets food-insecure Somali households and IDP populations countrywide with emergency food and nutrition assistance. FFP has closely tracked the impacts of El Niño and provided critical support for El Niño response, including supporting cash-for-work activities to repair river banks in flood-affected areas and rehabilitating water catchment systems in drought-affected areas.   

  • FFP partners with the UN World Food Program, other public international organizations, and non-governmental organizations on relief, nutrition, livelihoods, social safety net, and resilience-oriented activities. These activities include in-kind food assistance as well as cash- and market-based interventions such as cash transfers, cash for work, and food vouchers.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $36.6 million 19,450 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $111.5 million  40,655 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $127.5 million 53,601 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $36.6 million 19,450 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information provided by FEWS NET, FSNAU and SWALIM

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal–IPC 1–to Famine—IPC 5. 

[i] Population size based on revised 2015 estimate from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) of approximately 12.3 million people.

Last updated: April 27, 2016

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