Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Children of famine and death stalk Somalia

United Nations agencies are warning of a famine in Somalia and an increase in child deaths in the Horn of Africa if their appeals for the money urgently needed to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of hungry, malnourished children remain unfulfilled.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing failed rains for the fourth year in a row – a climate phenomenon not seen in at least 40 years. If the drought continues, the World Food Program has warned that at least 20 million people will suffer from acute hunger by the end of the year.

UNICEF reports that more than 1.7 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in urgent need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition, the deadliest form of the condition.

File - People Stand Next To Carcasses Of Dead Sheep In The Village Of Hargududo On April 7, 2022, 80 Kilometers From The Town Of Gode, Ethiopia.

FILE – People stand next to carcasses of dead sheep in the village of Hargududo on April 7, 2022, 80 kilometers from the town of Gode, Ethiopia.

Rania Dagash-Kamara is UNICEF Deputy Regional Director, East and South Africa. Speaking from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, she says the risk is particularly high for children in Somalia who are now living on the edge of the climate crisis.

“We have an estimated 386,000 children in Somalia who are in dire need of treatment for life-threatening severe malnutrition. Now, if I compare this to 2011, which was a famine year, we are now exceeding the number we had at the time, which was 340,000 children who needed treatment,” she said. Told.

The 2011 Somali famine killed more than 1.25 million people, half of whom were children under the age of five. Dagash-Kamara says children are dying from a combination of malnutrition and life-threatening diseases like measles and cholera.

She says drought has killed crops and livestock and water sources have dried up.

Children are starving and do not have the security to fight the deadly effects of malnutrition and disease.

He noted that the lives of children in the Horn of Africa are also at increased risk due to the war in Ukraine.

“Somalia used to import 92% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine alone, but supply lines are now blocked. And the war is driving up global food and fuel prices, meaning many people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia can no longer buy the basic food items they need to survive,” she said.

At the same time, the United Nations agencies are facing a cash crunch. They lack the necessary funds to run their life-saving humanitarian work. UNICEF has received just a third of its $250 million appeal for the Horn of Africa. The World Food Program says it needs $274 million to increase life-saving food and nutrition for more than 4 million people in Somalia over the next six months.

Agencies are appealing for significant support from the G-7, which will meet in Germany later this month. He says the G-7 advanced countries have the power to avert a catastrophe that neither should nor should it.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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