In Somalia, Conflict and Drought Has Put the Country in Danger of Famine

In Somalia, conflict and drought has put the country in danger of famine once again, just six years after the last.

Somalia is suffering from an intense two-year drought, leaving crops withered, animals dead and communities forced into selling what little they have to survive. In a country where 60% of the population is under 25 this is having a huge impact on children. The number of children needing critical vitamin and nutrient support right now is over 363,000 including 71,000 who are in serious danger.

Worse may be yet to come. Conflict, disease and lack of secure food sources are long running problems in Somalia, the 10th poorest country in the world. The drought threatens to change the scale of this suffering. UN Staff fear a repeat of what happened in 2011, when a prolonged famine took thousands of lives.

Faced with a threat of such scale for children UNICEF is ramping up its response, with vaccination programmes, the supplying of clean water and lifesaving food and medicine to the most vulnerable children, key priorities.

Munasar and Sahra

Munasar and his mother Sahra at a UNICEF supported feeding clinic.  Sedow/Somalia/2017

Munasar’s story is so like so many in Somalia. When Munasar met our team his health was very poor.  Only two thirds of his healthy weight he was suffering from SAM, severe acute malnutrition.

“Eight months ago, the water and pasture started diminishing in our area. My husband went to Saudi Arabia to find work through Bosaso and Yemen but we have heard nothing from him.” explained his eighteen year old mother Sahra.

Despite selling tea in a local town the family could only afford one meal a day. This was when Munasar grew very sick. Luckily Sahra brought Munasar to a local UNICEF supported hospital and got her son the help he needed.

After 10 days of proper feeding and treatment little Munasar is almost fully recovered” said Ms. Roda Hassan Elmi, the supervisor of the Centre.

Munasar has also now been referred to the UNICEF supported Outpatients feeding programme in the hospital. His mother received a course of therapeutic food to keep him healthy and gaining much needed weight. Finally, Sahra also received UNICEF approved counselling on infant and young child feeding to help her in the future.

Munasar’s story is typical of a Somalia suffering from drought.  The lives of three million children like Munasar are at risk.

Please act before it is too late for another generation of Somali children. and please donate today.

Somali children facing a difficult future
Somali children facing an uncertain future. Holt/Somalia/2017