Millions of children face famine threat in Somalia
Monday 6 February 2017
Somalia is on the brink of famine, just five years after it last devastated the country
If calls for aid are not answered within the next two months, millions of children could be at risk of death and Somalia could once again fall into famine.
In 2011, a quarter of a million people lost their lives – 130,000 of them children under five years old.
With the international community slow to respond, droughts intensifying and spring rains set to fail, the tragedy of 2011 looks set to repeat itself.
Long-term effects of famine
If it doesn’t rain, rivers run dry, crops fail to grow, livestock can’t survive, staple food prices skyrocket, employment falls and millions of lives hang in the balance.
Malnutrition and starvation have already started to take their toll on the country’s young children.
363,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished with 71,000 severely malnourished.
The time to act is now
As conditions worsen in Somaliland, Puntland and Somalia, desperate families are taking their children to neighbouring countries, risking separation, exploitation and even death.
The time for donors and for the international community to take action is now.
Country Director for Save the Children Somalia said: “We have a small window to stop what happened in 2011 from happening again – but that window is quickly shutting.”
Save the Children on the ground
We need £48 million to reach 1.2 million Somalis affected by the crisis.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has called for £240 million in lifesaving funds.
We’re already providing some of the hardest-hit communities with:
- clean water
- health and nutrition services
- food vouchers
- unconditional cash transfers.
This work in Somalia is part of the organisation’s wider response to help vulnerable children and families affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa, including in Ethiopia and Kenya.