According to the latest report released in August by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit of FAO, a total of 2.1 million people are facing an acute food security crisis (IPC phases 3 and 4) in Somalia for the August to December 2012 period, a 16 per cent reduction from the beginning of the year. While conditions have improved considerably since the 2011 due to low cereal prices and improved terms of trade, agro-pastoralist areas in central and southern areas remain in IPC 3 (crisis) phase. Furthermore, another 1.8 million people are also estimated to be acutely food insecure and in a phase 2 (stress) situation where they are barely able to meet their minimum food requirements. Without livelihoods assistance and adequate rains in the coming months, this portion of the population could revert to phase 3 (crisis).
The nutrition situation shows continued improvements from the past two seasons with a median GAM prevalence of 16 per cent as opposed to 22 per cent six month ago. The number of acutely malnourished children under 5 years is now estimated to be 236,000 down from 323,000. However, the south of the country remains in a state of acute nutrition emergency with GAM prevalence estimated at above 20 per cent in most areas, with the notable exception of Mogadishu. The central and northeast parts of the country have displayed sustained improvements and are classified as serious. A seasonal peak in GAM has been observed across pastoral livelihoods of northwest Somalia linked to failed Gu rains and high morbidity. It is anticipated that the nutrition situation in these areas will improve in the coming months.