Despite the ongoing delivery of humanitarian food assistance, levels of acute food insecurity across Somalia remain high, with an estimated 5 million people experiencing Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or higher) outcomes between January and March 2023, including 96,000 people facing catastrophic hunger (IPC Phase 5), according to the latest multi-partner post-deyr Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis results released on 28 February 2023. While this is a slight improvement from previous projections, the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains extremely dire and even more appalling outcomes are only temporarily averted.
Levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition remain high due to the impact of five consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and an anticipated sixth season of below-average rainfall from April to June, exacerbated by conflict/insecurity and disease outbreaks.
Food assistance scaled up significantly in 2022, from reaching an average of 2 million people per month between January and March 2022 to reaching an average of 5.4 million people per month between October and December 2022.
“Famine has been averted for the time being, but needs remain high and urgent, with more than a third of the country’s population facing acute food insecurity and almost half the population in need of humanitarian and protection assistance,” said Magatte Guisse, Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia ad interim.
Based on current funding levels, humanitarian assistance delivery is expected to reduce significantly between April and June 2023. This, coupled with the anticipated impact of a likely below-average rainfall between April to June, the number of people facing Crisis or worse acute food insecurity outcomes is projected to increase to about 6.5 million people across Somalia between April to June 2023 – more than a third of the total population – including 223,000 people who will likely face catastrophic hunger (IPC Phase 5). In addition, rural agropastoral populations in Burhakaba District and displaced people in Baidoa and Mogadishu face Risk of Famine between April to June 2023 if the 2023 Gu season rains fail and humanitarian assistance does not reach those most in need.
“We are grateful to our donors, whose generous support enabled us to reach 7.3 million people with humanitarian assistance in 2022. Available funding levels can only sustain current level of humanitarian response interventions through March. I urge donors to continue to stand with the people of Somalia at this time of unprecedented and devastating drought and provide additional funding to maintain the lifesaving response beyond March,” said Mr. Guisse.
The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia seeks over US$2.6 billion to meet the priority needs of 7.6 million vulnerable people. Frontloaded support is urgently required as needs remain extremely high and critical gaps persist, including in core lifesaving sectors. In addition to funding for the lifesaving responses, there is a critical need to invest in livelihoods, resilience, infrastructure development, climate adaptation, and durable solutions to tackle underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition and enhance resilience and ensure those affected can adapt and thrive.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).