Somalia remains one of the most complex and long- standing humanitarian crises in the world. 2018 has seen some improvements in the food security outlook, mainly due to the above-average Gu rainfall and sustained humanitarian response. However, such gains are fragile, serious protection concerns persist and humanitarian needs in Somalia remain high. Climatic shocks, armed conflict and violence are key drivers of humanitarian needs and human rights violations. One third of the total population, or 4.2 million people, require humanitarian assistance and protection. Along with humanitarian action, substantial investment in resiliencebuilding and development solutions will be critical to ultimately reduce humanitarian needs in Somalia.
Due to the above-average rains in 2018, water has become more readily available in both natural and manmade sources across much of the country. Indeed, 74% of non-displaced and 59% of IDP households reported having adequate access to drinking water in the 30 days prior to the assessment. In comparison to the 2017 JMCNA, this finding reflects a strong pattern of improvement in water accessibility for non-displaced households and a much weaker one for displaced households. Households are also relying less on unimproved and surface water sources like unimproved wells, berkads, or rivers. A higher proportion of IDP households reported access to improved sources (87%) than non-displaced households (75%). At the national level, this discrepancy may relate in part to IDPs’ urbanization – although these improvements in quality have not led to significantly higher water access for IDPs. On the other hand, non-displaced households have instead seen a larger increase in adequate access to water due to the heavy rains of 2018 without experiencing as dramatic an increase in the quality of their sources. This circumstance would mean both IDP and non-displaced households remain highly vulnerable to the likelihood of future droughts. (JMNCA September 2018)
Nationally, 77% of non-displaced and 65% of IDP households reported that they had access to a healthcare facility. In descending order, high proportions of households with reported access indicated that they used NGO run clinics, government clinics, and private clinics or hospitals. Whilst the proportion of households with access to health care was high, the quality of services appeared poor; low proportions of the households with access reported that the available services included maternal health (40%), primary care for wounds (31%), surgery (9%), reproductive health (9%), and mental health (7%). Of the 84% of households which reported having a child or adult with a specific health problem in the 30 days prior to the assessment, just over one-quarter (27%) reported that they were unable to access a healthcare facility in response to the issue. There being no health facility in the area was the most commonly reported reason, affecting half (52%) of all households with no access. Cost plays the second largest role in preventing access; half (52%) of nondisplaced and a third (32%) of IDP households reported that they pay for their healthcare, but around one quarter (22%) of households without access indicated that they were unable to afford health services. (JMNCA September 2018)
The JMCNA indicates higher reported school attendance than previous assessments17 amongst nondisplaced students, and a significant disparity between nondisplaced and IDP attendance rates: 45% of non-displaced and 28% of IDP school-aged children18 are reportedly attending school. School fees were the most commonly reported barrier to education for households without all their children in school. The large gap in attendance rates between IDP and non-displaced households highlights the financial costs preventing displaced households from accessing education services. Unlike the majority of households, assessed minority clan households commonly identified violence at school as a barrier for both boys (51%) and girls (36%). Households in Bay and Bakool also cited violence as a key barrier to education for both girls (39%) and boys (44%). Such reports may be a proxy indicator of forced child recruitment and as such these findings may demonstrate that children from minority clan households and households in Bay and Bakool might be at risk of forced recruitment at school. (JMNCA September 2018)
Over half (55%) of all assessed households reported that they had inadequate access to food at the time of the assessment. Although high, this figure represents a significant improvement from the 2017 JMNCA findings, in which 85% of households reported the same. However,
IDPs were considerably more vulnerable, with 77% of assessed IDP households reporting inadequate access to food. The proportions of households categorized as having a poor Food Consumption Score (FCS) also dropped 30 points in the past year from 62% in 2017 to 32% in 2018. In a further illustration of the improving food security situation, only a tenth (10%) of assessed households were categorized as experiencing severe hunger according to their Household Hunger Scale21 (HHS). At the national level, the most commonly reported reason for inadequate access to food was high prices, cited by 22% of households with inadequate access. (JMNCA September 2018)
Nationally, MUAC22 estimates indicated that 54% of children23 under the age of five years were either at risk of malnutrition, experiencing moderate malnutrition, or experiencing severe malnutrition. This figure is a notable improvement from the 2017 JMCNA where 68% of children in the same age range fell into these categories. According to the JMCNA data, only 14% of households reported access to nutrition services, indicating substantial gaps in the provision of nutrition services or the local awareness of those services. Indeed, of children that were estimated to be experiencing moderate and severe malnutrition, just 19% were reported as receiving treatment. (JMNCA September 2018)