According to Unicef data, 730 children died in feeding centers from January to July. More than half a million children between the ages of six months and five years are severely malnourished.
After four seasons of failed rains since the end of 2020, and a fifth with the promise of similar rains since October, Somalia continues to sink into famine.
Nationwide, 7.8 million people, nearly half the population, are affected by the drought, with 213,000 at risk of severe starvation, according to the United Nations.
Without urgent action, the southern regions of Baidoa and Burhakaba will be in a state of famine from October to December, Martin Griffiths, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), warned in early September.
He said the situation is worse than the last famine in 2011, which killed 260,000 people, more than half of them children under five.
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Faced with the threat of the radical Islamist Shebab insurgency that has rocked the country for 15 years, a million Somalis have fled their villages for major cities, particularly the capital Mogadishu, where they have regrouped in informal camps.
Nuunay Adan Durov, a mother of ten, traveled 300 kilometers from the Baidoa region to seek medical attention for her three-year-old son Hassan Mohamed, whose limbs were swollen due to severe malnutrition.
“We haven’t had a harvest for three years because of the lack of rain,” he explains.
“We faced a terrible situation (…) to get a can of water, you have to walk for two hours,” continued the 35-year-old mother, who kissed her son while waiting for treatment at the city’s medical center. NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC) on the outskirts of Mogadishu.