The October to December rains are expected anytime and according to a FEWSNET report released in September, a potential food security crisis in the Greater Horn of Africa looms if the rains are inadequate. The pastoral communities have been left particularly vulnerable following successive droughts, conflicts and other shocks, though some areas had good rains in early 2007 which helped to regenerate pasture in arid and semi-arid areas.
However, according to the FEWSNET reports, the most likely scenario anticipates good rains, with pockets of extreme food insecurity in areas prone to flooding and continued insecurity in southern and central Somalia, northern Kenya and Ethiopia’s Somali region. In such areas the need for emergency assistance would be localized and focused on areas where households face extreme food insecurity.
In another scenario, if the rains are inadequate in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti in the coming rainy season, this could lead to a humanitarian crisis where many pastoral households already face high to extreme levels of food insecurity according to the FEWS and OCHA Regional Humanitarian Updates.
Somalia: In southern Somalia the humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate, especially in the Shabelle valley, Hiran and Mogadishu regions where households are already extremely food insecure. According to the OCHA report Somalia is facing the worst Gu (long rainy) season in 13 years in addition to continued trade disruptions, displacement, hyper-inflation and civil insecurity. Household food access is declining and humanitarian needs are increasing. The USAID/FFP office provided 48,000 MT valued at $35 million in 2007.