FAO Rapid Response and Mitigation Plan in the Horn of Africa

SEADS Handbook Location: Chapter 3 (book p. 20, PDF p. 27)

Between 2016 and 2019, the Somali peninsula (in the Horn of Africa region) faced six out of seven below-average rainy seasons. The worst consequences were avoided thanks to anticipatory action. The region is characterized by systemic underlying vulnerabilities and was already suffering from a desert locust upsurge. Subsequently, the coronavirus pandemic and its socioeconomic implications, abnormally high food prices, and protracted conflict and insecurity have worsened the conditions in the region. Since October 2020, the region has entered a new phase of worsening food insecurity for the third consecutive season. The increasing number of people facing acute food insecurity (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 3 or above) in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region does not mean that the resilience agenda is failing. In fact, without the investments to build more resilient societies and systems over the past 10 years, the region would
undoubtedly have been in a more critical situation. But the recurrence of conflicts, combined with shocks of unprecedented magnitude, is a challenge that rural communities cannot overcome alone.

The FAO rapid response and mitigation plan for the Horn of Africa is based on a thorough analysis of past crises or hazard events, seasonal weather patterns, and drought epicenters. The plan describes the set of livelihood-specific activities that should be prioritized for 2022 to save the lives and livelihoods of 1.93 million rural people across Somalia. The timeframe for the plan is January to June 2022.

Priority actions and target groups are as follows:

  • 144,000 rural people can meet food needs for up to six months through unconditional and conditional cash transfers.
  • 770,400 agro-pastoralists can safeguard their livelihoods and assets for the next six months.
  • 568,800 farmers and agro-pastoralists can safeguard their livelihoods and assets for the next six months. In addition, the set of interventions (including cash+) will secure the production of up to 40,000 tons of staple food crop (cereal and pulses) by harvest time (June–July 2022), which is enough to feed the targeted population until the end of 2022 (short rains harvest).
  • 16,800 fishers can safeguard their livelihoods and assets for the next four months (fishing season is from January to April).

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2022). Drought in the Horn of Africa: Rapid response and mitigation plan to avert a humanitarian catastrophe: January–June 2022. FAO. https://www.fao.org/3/cb8280en/cb8280en.pdf.