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Nearly 250,000 people in Somalia face hunger

UN agencies say a fourth consecutive rainy season has failed in Somalia, the Horn of Africa country. And meteorologists are warning of another below-average rainy season later this year as Earth’s climate becomes more erratic.

At the same time, world food prices near a record high as the Russia-Ukraine war severely affected the grain and cooking oil markets.

About 213,000 Somalis are at risk starvenearly tripled the level expected in April, according to a statement from UN agencies including the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). , United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

About 7.1 million people in Somalia or nearly half of the country’s population face severe levels of food insecurity, meaning they will find it difficult to get the minimum calories they need, the agencies say needed every day and may have to sell assets to survive.

“We must act immediately to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. The most vulnerable are at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Can’t wait for a statement about starvation to act. It’s a race against time to stop hunger.”

Nearly 250,000 people in Somalia face hunger - Photo 1.

United Nations agencies say the fourth consecutive rainy season has failed in the Horn of Africa country. (Photo: Reuters)

About 3 million cattle have died in Somalia due to a drought that has persisted since mid-2021, a dire number in a country whose main economic sector is livestock, where families depend on herds. cattle for meat, milk and trade.

The region at risk of famine is particularly southern Somalia, where al-Shabab militants are present, making humanitarian access a challenge.

The UN Humanitarian Response Plan 2022, the agencies added, is only 18 percent funded, and Somalia is competing with other global emergency hotspots for funding amid wage insecurity. actually spread all over the world.

“We are calling on the international community to act quickly while we work to prevent widespread hunger in Somalia,” said FAO Representative in Somalia Etienne Peterschmitt.

In 2011, famine killed about 250,000 people in Somalia. Half of those killed were children under the age of 6.

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