Malnutrition grips Somalia again

Published: June 15, 2014

banadir_hostAt the Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, young children lie everywhere. Malnutrition has once again gripped the Horn of African country, three years after it suffered its worst famine in six decades.

The United Nations says that 200,000 Somali children could die before the end of the year. It further notes that some 50,000 children under the age of five currently suffer from acute severe malnutrition. At the hospital, we met this woman who had brought her sick child from Lower Shabelle region.

Most of the victims are from Lower Shabelle where inter clan fighting has led to fresh displacement. The situation is far worse in Kismayo. Flash floods have submerged makeshift structures, for the internally displaced killing 3 children within one week. In one camp, over 350 homeless families are spending the nights in the cold without food and proper shelter as raining continues.

The government says that tackling malnutrition needs a concerted effort from both local NGOs and international organizations or else the threat will increase as experienced during the famine period. It is believed that approximately 857,000 people in Somalia require urgent and life-saving assistance. But the UN says unless the funding is received immediately, essential life-saving health services for millions of Somalis will be cut off. That would worsen the country’s protracted humanitarian crisis.

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