SOMALIA: Food Security Situation in Luuq IDP Camp , 4/9/99

SOMALIA: Food Security Situation in Luuq IDP Camp , 4/9/99

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Food Security Assessment Unit

FLASH 08 April 1999

Deteriorating Food Security Situation in Luuq IDP Camp

Action contre La Faim - Somalia, partners with FSAU, repeated an assessment in Luuq - Gedo region- between 18- 22 March 1999, first carried out in November 1998 and then in December 1998 (findings were reported in previous FSAU 'Flashes'). The objective was to evaluate the food security situation with an examination of the nutritional and health status as well as gathering information on other factors affecting the IDPs livelihood to understand causes of vulnerability and identify possible intervent ions. Analysis also focused upon the food security/nutritional status of the old and new IDPs in order to determine if the old IDPs had managed to find coping strategies that made their status stronger. Two security incidents cut the assessment short by two days but nevertheless the information gathered is conclusively representative of what was experienced in the two sections of the camp where the assessments were carried out.

This latest appraisal, carried out in the second half of March 1999, clearly indicates that the global situation in Luuq IDP camp has deteriorated.

The number of IDPs entering the camp has grown steadily since the last assessment. The average daily arrivals in Luuq town of 5 families per day observed in December. The average inflow is now of 12-13 families a day. >From a camp of 60 families in November to 400-500 families in December, the size of the camp was estimated at 1437 hou seholds (excluding the numerous IDPs that have been integrated into the host community). IDPs places of origin are Bakool region (61%), Gedo region (28%), and Bay region (12%). There is a high proportion of female-headed households (45%). The IDPs stat e drought as being their main reason for leaving, followed by hunger and insecurity.

The mortality rate was found to be 10.6/10,000/day in children < 5 years (more than double December's findings). Moreover, the outbreak of cholera, the imminent rains of the Gu, the low measles vaccination coverage, weak housing and no assets are additio nal risk factors to this already vulnerable population. The average level of water use is 3.2 litres/person/day whereas the minimum water requirement for life is 5 litres/person/day. These factors indicate levels far beyond the acceptable standards.

A rapid nutritional assessment among 243 children between 65-110 cms in 243 at random selected households was carried out. Severe acute malnutrition (MUAC<=109 mm and/or oedema) was observed in 15.2% of the children (n=30 , n=7 oedema). Overall acute global malnutrition (MUAC<=124 mm and/or oedema) rated 57.2% (n=132, n=7 oedema) (32% in December), whilst another 23.5% are considered at risk of acute malnutrition (MUAC 125<=134mm, n=57). No major differences were observed between the old and new IDPs. The nutritional intake of protein, lipids vitamins and minerals is inadequate - especially for the children. The main form of malnutrition (marasmus) recorded throughout the assessment indicates that the children are becoming malnourished due to a serio us lack of food.

The ration of the general food distributions is not adequate for the families that received them. A high number of households received no general food distribution at all. They have been exploiting all basic coping mechanisms that they are able to, and are managing to maintain a basic level of survival. Just over half of the families were wanting to return to their homes if assistance was provided.

This Flash is an excerpt of a report prepared by the ACF Nutritionist which will be circulated in the next couple of days. This Mission and the analysis of data were carried out by Action contre la Faim - Somalia / Partner with FSAU. Dissemination of information is jointly undertaken by the two partners. Queries on this Flash can be addressed to or It is recommended that the international community assists the families that are willing to return to their place of origin in the form of a returnee package of seed/tool kits and a protective food ration. Additionally, non-food items should be distribut ed in order to try to ensure protective housing, adequate water collection and improved hygiene. For the IDPs that are not willing to return, general food distribution should involve expanded targeting, increased and equitable rations, and if possible th e addition of oil to the commodities that are distributed. They should also be supported with non-food items and agricultural kits as there is room to plant in the area surrounding the camp. Water and sanitation needs in the camp are areas of important focus.

The rapid assessment was carried out using semi-structured household interviews, focus group discussions, interviews with key informants and observations. Children were selected randomly through house to house movement, following protocols that would be used when carrying out a cluster anthropometric nutritional survey. Quatitative information that was obtained was triangulated on analysis.


Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 10:28:09 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: SOMALIA: Food security situation in Luuq IDP camp [19990409]

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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