Acute malnutrition persists in Somalia
The number of people in crisis in Somalia is at its lowest since famine was declared in Somalia in 2011, thanks to successive seasons of average to above average rainfall, low food prices and sustained humanitarian response but acute malnutrition continues to pose a threat to hundreds of thousands of children especially in the country’s south, latest findings indicate.
A joint report by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia (FSNAU), a project managed by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) indicates an estimated 870,000 people will be in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and Phase 4) from August to December 2013. The situation has significantly improved since 2011 when 4 million Somalis were in extreme food security crisis. The recent figures also represent a continued improvement since January when an estimated 1,050,000 people were in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4). Improvements are attributed to a near average July/August 2013 Gu harvest, increased livestock prices, increased livestock herd sizes, improved milk availability, low prices of both local and imported staple food commodities, higher purchasing power from income from labor and livestock sales, and sustained humanitarian interventions over the last six months.
However, nearly 2.3 million additional people beyond those requiring more urgent assistance, one-third of Somalia’s population, are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2); their food security remains fragile. This group of households may struggle to meet their own minimal food requirement through the end of the year, and they remain highly vulnerable to major shocks that could push them back to food security crisis.