Drought In Somalia Claims 110 Lives In Just 48 Hours

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The U.N. estimates 5 million people need aid, amid warnings of a full-blown famine. Somalia's government has declared the drought a national disaster.

 

 

Around 110 people died in southern Somalia in just two days from famine and diarrhea resulting from a drought as the area braces itself for widespread shortages of food.

In February, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)  said the drought in Somalia could lead to up to 270,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition this year.

Somali woman holds her child

"It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by famine and diarrhea at the same time. In the last 48 hours 110 people died due to famine and diarrhea in Bay region," Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire's office said in a statement.

"The Somali government will do its best, and we urge all Somalis wherever they are to help and save the dying Somalis," he said in the statement released after a meeting of a famine response committee.

The country also continues to be rocked by security problems, with the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government coming under regular attack from al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab.

Bakara market in Somalia

More than 7,000 internally displaced people have poured into the capital city of Mogadishu in hopes of finding food and aid, overwhelming local and international aid agencies.

Somalia's newly elected Somali-American leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, has appealed to the international community and Somalis all over the world for help.

"It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by [hunger] and diarrhea at the same time," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire's office said in a statement. "The Somali government will do its best, and we urge all Somalis, wherever they are, to help and save the dying Somalis."

If the famine progresses, the World Health Organization says it would be the country's third famine in a quarter-century — and the second in less than a decade.

According to joint report by the U.N. and the United States Agency for International Development, famine killed almost 258,000 people between 2010 and 2012 in Somalia.

 

 

 

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