Little respite forecast for Somalia drought

The Famine Early Warning System’s latest monthly report says that the April to June Gu rains are forecast to be slightly below average. FEWS says food security further deteriorated in March, the peak of the pastoral lean season, and Hawd and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones are now at Crisis level. It added: “In most Northern Inland Pastoral areas, Crisis outcomes exist with ongoing humanitarian assistance, but Emergency outcomes are expected between June and September in the absence of assistance. FEWS also said Emergency outcomes were also expected to persist in Bay and Bakool agro-pastoral areas, but assistance was improving food security for some households.” Overall, however, “The humanitarian situation in Somalia is rapidly deteriorating and renewed famine is a strong possibility in 2017 with about 6.2 million people facing acute food shortages.” Failure of two consecutive rainy seasons, Gu (short) and Deyr (long) has brought severe drought to Somalia since 2015. The continuous failure of rain throughout 2016 has made the situation even worse. The FEWS report notes that aid agencies say drought in Puntland and Somaliland has deepened and has expanded to Southern and Central regions. FEWS Net does forecast decreases in staple food prices as a result of humanitarian assistance as aid agencies scale up their relief efforts to curb famine. It noted the retail price of sorghum in Baidoa, for example, decreased 13% between January and March, though it had earlier increased by 74% between October and December.

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