Over 1 million children under the age of five are likely to face acute malnutrition through June 2020, including 178,400 who are likely to be severely malnourished, says the World Food Programme.
Areas of concern include internally displaced person (IDP) settlements in Beletweyne, Bosasso, Qardho, Galkayo,
Baidoa and Mogadishu, as well as parts of Bari, Togdheer, Nugaal, Hiraan, Gedo, Bakool, Bay, Middle and Lower Shabelle and Juba regions. Malnutrition in Somalia is driven by several factors including food insecurity, poor health, and socio-cultural factors leading to poor infant and child feeding.
The late and below-average performance of the 2019 Gu (April-June) rainy season has led to a significantly poor cereal harvest especially in southern Somalia (the country's main cropping region), where the cereal harvest was 68 percent below the long-term average.
The poor rains have also affected livestock production among pastoralists across the country, many of whom are still struggling to restock after losing most of their animals in the 2016-2017 drought. Consequently, humanitarian needs remain high, with an estimated 2.1 million people expected to face critical levels of hunger between October to December 2019.
The 2019 Deyr rains (October to December) are expected to be normal to above-average, with an increased risk of flooding and disruption in riverine areas. WFP is closely monitoring the situation as the current humanitarian situation could deteriorate if the rains do not perform as expected, or if the flooding is significant and widespread in the main cropping areas.
In August, WFP assisted 2.2 million women, men and children in the communities most affected by acute food and nutrition insecurity throughout the country. Over half of the people reached received cash-based transfers worth USD 13.9 million. In addition, 544,000 pregnant and nursing women, and children aged 6-59 months received preventative and curative nutrition assistance, while 143,000 people received support through livelihoods programmes