32.5 C
New York
August 7, 2022
Cover

Urgent support needed for millions of Somali children

July 30, 2022

 

Hunger and drought in Somalia are destroying livelihoods and have forced more than 800,000 people to flee their homes, with more than 7 million (1) facing severe food insecurity, according to global aid organization World Vision.

Forecasts indicate the crisis is set to worsen over the coming months, with a record fifth failed rainy season likely across the country. (2) This is Somalia’s worst drought in 40 years (3), with more than 200,000 people one step away from famine-like conditions (4). An estimated 1.5 million Somali children under the age of 5 are at risk of acute malnutrition by the end of the year. (5)

“I’ve met many … families who have walked for days in the hope of reaching areas where they can access food to feed their hungry children,” said Tobias Oloo, acting director of World Vision Somalia. “Most mothers we meet at our nutrition clinics have at least one child who is malnourished. Some of their children died before they could reach help.”

Mark Smith, World Vision’s vice president of humanitarian emergency affairs, said the need in Baidoa, Somalia is overwhelming. “We finish doing (food) distributions and a whole new group of people will arrive the following day in desperate need.”

Millions of Somali households are struggling to cope with rising food prices, while drought has decimated crops and livestock, weakening people’s purchasing power. At the same time, displaced children are dropping out of school to migrate or work in order to earn their next meal.

Fifteen-year-old Suldana receives 70 cents a day for doing housework. “I wash dishes and do other light chores … I do this every day, all day because I have to bring food to my family. Sometimes it is hard to get customers. Some of the customers are bad people. They mistreat you, especially when you are a girl,” she said.

World Vision fears that the war in Ukraine has distracted global attention from a hunger crisis that has been accelerating across the Horn of Africa for months. Somalia’s humanitarian appeal remains significantly underfunded; only 42% of the funds required to meet existing needs have been provided.

“We know from experience that vulnerable children suffer the most in crisis situations. In the 2011 Somalia famine, half of the 250,000 people who died were children under 5 years of age,” said Oloo. “We are calling on the international community to immediately prioritize the lives of millions of children and their families who [are at] risk of dying from starvation. The time to act is now.”

Related posts

Kenya’s Omamo arrived in Mogadishu for talks with Somali leaders

warsan

‘We ask you to show leadership in advancing the Baidoa Technical Committee’s proposals’ -Int’l community

warsan

Why Qatar’s Emir may not attend the Riyadh summit

warsan