The UN humanitarian agency has warned that humanitarian situation in Somalia could worsen due to deteriorating food security situation in parts of the southern and central regions.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says in a report released on Friday that the July to December post main harvest season (Gu period) is expected to be 30 to 50 percent below average in southern Somalia.
“The shortfall is in part, due to poor rains, moisture stress, pest infestation and the damage caused by the floods in the riverine areas of Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions,” OCHA said, citing assessments from the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) projects funded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Some of the areas projected to receive below average harvests, like Bay and Lower Shabelle, usually account for 80 percent of the cereal production in the southern regions.
The next Deyr rainy season (October to December) is also likely to be below average in most parts of the country.
Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions where floods affected nearly 70,000 people and the coastal areas are expected to be the most affected, according to FSNAU.
In the northern areas of Puntland and Somaliland where an estimated 385,000 people face acute food insecurity and nearly 1.3 million people are at risk of sliding into acute food insecurity, the impact of the El Nino induced drought remains and the recovery is slow.
Some parts of Somaliland and most areas in Puntland and southern regions recorded depressed rains, which will likely affect availability of water for livestock and human consumption in the coming months.
The report says April to June Gu rains provided some relief and reduced the impact of the drought in parts of Puntland and Somaliland but did not translate into improved conditions.
“As part of efforts to mitigate a deterioration of the situation in the drought-affected areas of Puntland and Somaliland as well as mobilize resources to boost response, the Humanitarian Country team is revising the Call for Aid launched in March,” the report says.
The revised Call for Aid will map out a strategy for supporting recovery following four consecutive seasons of below average rainfall in Somaliland and one in Puntland that have compromised the coping capacities of many families.
It covers the three-month period from July to September.
“Of the 127 million U.S. dollars required as of March 31, 49 million dollars has been funded already. These resources have enabled some clusters to scale up response,” the report says.