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UN: Somalia on brink of fatal famine

An eight-month-old child receives high nutrition foods at Tawkal 2 Dinsoor camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baidoa, Somalia, on February 14, 2022 [YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images]
An eight-month-old child receives high nutrition foods at Tawkal 2 Dinsoor camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baidoa, Somalia, on February 14, 2022 [YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Adam Abdel Mawla warned on Tuesday that Somalia was "on the brink of a deadly famine that could kill hundreds of thousands," reported Anadolu Agency.

Speaking to journalists at the UN Headquarters in New York, Abdel Mawla stated: "Somalia is on the brink of a devastating mass famine that could claim hundreds of thousands of lives."

Abdel Mawla added: "Since the beginning of this year, the drought emergency situation in Somalia has worsened significantly, and today we are waiting for a looming disaster, and the situation is very bleak."

He continued: "Four consecutive rainy seasons failed, causing the worst drought that affected seven million people and displaced 805,000 others in Somalia. Food prices have risen, and humanitarian aid remains out of reach."

The UN official added, "there is now a real danger that the upcoming rainy season may also be below average," warning that if such forecasts are realised, the situation will worsen until mid-2023.

He explained that 7.1 million Somalis, nearly 50 per cent of the population, face food insecurity.

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By next September, he noted, 213,000 people will suffer catastrophic famine, representing a 160 per cent increase since last April.

The UN coordinator stated that about 1.5 million children under five suffer from acute malnutrition.

He indicated that the repercussions of the current crisis in Ukraine on scientific supply chains have made Somali families increasingly unable to deal with rising food prices, with local food becoming scarce.

The prices of imported foodstuffs in Somalia have reached record levels, jumping by up to 160 per cent, leaving low-income families hungry and destitute, the UN official told.

Abdel Mawla urged donor countries and institutions to take immediate action to prevent widespread famine and deaths in Somalia.

According to previous UN estimates, Somalia is experiencing one of the worst droughts in nearly 40 years, which could result in the deaths of almost 330,000 children across the country due to starvation.

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AfricaInternational OrganisationsNewsSomaliaUN
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