Published on May 2, 2017
The United Nations children’s agency has warned that the severity of drought hit Somalia, will count 1.4 million acutely malnourished children at risk of life threatening diseases by the end of the year, up 50% from late 2016. 275 000 of those children are expected to be so severely malnourished that they could easily die. Unicef spokesperson Marixie Mercad has said such children “are nine times more likely to die of major killers cholera, diarrhoea or measles. The warning comes as Somalia faces the threat of its third famine in 25 years of civil war and anarchy. The dire drought and food situation has forced more than 615 000 people to flee their homes since last November, in a country where 1.1 million people are already internally displaced. The UN has appealed for $720 million to provide aid to Somalia this year, of which it so far has received 415 million dollars. At least 260 000 people died in the 2011 famine in Somalia – half of them children under the age of five.