Somalia: Acute Food Insecurity Situation in January 2013 and Projection for February - June 2013
01.01.2013 > 30.06.2013



& next steps


The recent improvements in food security are attributed to continued humanitarian interventions, which improved food stocks at the household and market levels from the ongoing 2013 Deyr harvest, sustained high livestock prices, and improved milk availability during the October to December Deyr rainy season across many pastoral areas of Somalia. Following the famine declaration in 2011, sustained humanitarian response and multiple seasons of below average on occasion but also good rainfall in most parts of the country increased agricultural and livestock production and household purchasing power.

The average October to December Deyr rains boosted maize and sorghum production, yielding what may be the largest cereal harvest in nearly ten years. Substantial cash crop production also occurred as some farmers shifted from cereals to more profitable sesame. The recent multi-agency assessment found high production in Bay Region, which contributes more than half of Somalia’s sorghum production, as well as in Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions. However, a few areas in the South are likely to have a poor harvest in January and February due to late and erratic Deyr rainfall.

Areas still in crisis

Based on the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) approach, most areas of Somalia are currently classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2), where the poor have minimally adequate food consumption, cannot afford essential non-food expenditures, and are unable to maintain their livelihoods. In several areas, food insecurity is more severe. 

  • With poor rains in the northwestern coastal area of the Gulf of Aden since 2010, pastoralists are struggling with poor pasture conditions, low water availability, and diminished self-employment opportunities. The recent Hays rainy season (Dec 2012-Feb 2013) has not significantly improved these conditions. Many households, unable to meet their food needs, are classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
  • Sheep pastoralists in the coastal areas of central Somalia have very small herds. The recent season did little to improve grazing areas. These areas remain classified at Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
  • Following maize crop losses due to multiple dry spells during the October to December Deyr rains, households in the agropastoral areas of Jamame District in the Lower Juba region also are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Contributing factors include: the lack of a current harvest, poor stocks from previous harvests, and low and declining holdings of livestock to sell for food.
  • Destitute pastoralists throughout the country continue to struggle living in deplorable conditions with limited access to food and other basic needs. In the coastal areas of Central, some of these destitute pastoralists have started shifting back into pastoralism. These groups are classified in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
  • The United Nations estimates that 1.1 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia. An estimated 615,000 of the IDPs are in food security crisis. Most of the major IDP settlements are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

In total, 1.05 million in acute food insecurity represents about 14 percent of the total population. At the height of the famine, 4 million people, or nearly half of the Somali population, were in food security crisis.

Country Related Information


Join our mailing list