South Somalia Harvest Seen Below Average by USAID on Late Rain

Somalia may harvest a below-average main crop in the country’s south after late rainfall, which may prolong the lean season by a month and cause food security to deteriorate, the U.S. Agency for International Development said.

The so-called Gu harvest has been harmed by moisture stress as well as pest infestations, USAID wrote in a report on its website today. Most parts of the rain-fed crop areas in the south received only very light rain in May, it wrote.

Humanitarian aid will have to be stepped up in coming months to respond to emergency food assistance needs, according to USAID. A famine in southern Somalia last year that caused tens of thousands of deaths ended in February, according to the United Nations.

“Food security of poor, agropastoral households is likely to deteriorate to emergency levels in June,” USAID wrote. “Though a return to famine in southern Somalia is not expected, a scaling up of humanitarian assistance and activation of the contingency planning process are necessary.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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