Ahead of the March-May 2023 rainy season, forecasts indicate below-average rainfall is highly likely in many regions of Somalia.
This means the victims of drought ravaging most parts of the country will continue suffering from the same predicaments in the first half of next year.
Somalia is in the midst of its fifth consecutive failed rainy season.
By mid -2023, humanitarian aid agencies say over 8 million people—nearly half of the population—will be living through crisis levels of food insecurity as the country faces an impending famine.
The World Food Program (WFP) and its partners have initiated actions to be implemented by two anticipatory actions, anticipatory cash and early warning information.
“The results presented in this factsheet show that anticipatory cash transfers and early warning information contributed to protecting communities’ food security and livelihoods, preventing the worst impacts of forecasted poor rains during the March-April-May (Gu) rainy season in 2021.”
This intervention’s have resulted in the subsequent implementation of anticipatory action in neighboring Ethiopia.
“To ensure the improvement of our interventions, we follow an iterative learning process, where we build on lessons learned from past activations for future ones,” said a statement from WFP.
While droughts occur periodically in East Africa, human-caused climate change likely explains the duration and severity of the current crisis, which has devastated crop production and made it near impossible for herders to find food for their animals.
In just one year, the number of people in Somalia facing the highest levels of extreme hunger has increased 91 percent.
With poor rains forecast to persist into 2023, even more Somalis will be unable to access enough food.
Many will be forced to leave their homes to seek humanitarian assistance in urban centers or across the border in Kenya and Ethiopia.
Already at the end of December, 3 million people were internally displaced, and at least 20,000 Somalis had crossed into Kenya.
Somalia now produces less than half as much food as it did before the country collapsed into three decades of conflict.
Ongoing fighting and the climate crisis have left the country dangerously reliant on imported food, with over 90 percent of wheat supplies coming from Russia and Ukraine.
Record-high increases in the prices of staple crops on the global market have made it even harder for Somalis to afford enough food for their families.