UN: Battle against time to prevent famine in Somalia

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Three million cattle have died due to the drought by mid-2021, a devastating toll in a predominantly livestock country, where many families depend on herds for meat, milk and trade.

The United Nations have dressed in “Race against time” to prevent famine in Somaliawhere more than 200,000 people are directly threatened, in the midst of a record drought.

Overall, somewhere 7.1 million people –Almost half the population– they are hungryHowever, for the 213,000 people most affected, the situation is now catastrophic and urgent, according to a new assessment by the UN services.

“We must act immediately” to prevent the threatened “Humanitarian catastrophe”stressed o El Hidir Dalum, Director of the World Food Program (WFP) Delegation in Somalia.

“The lives of the most vulnerable are already threatened by malnutrition and hunger, we can not wait for famine to occur to take action. We are in a race against time to prevent famine“, He underlined.

Consecutive rainy seasons marked by sick precipitation in the Horn of Africacausing the worst drought in 40 years and a major consequence food crisis in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

The scale of the need in Somalia is now such – and the lack of funding so glaring – that aid organizations are squandering their resources to try to prevent a repeat of the 2011 famine, which claimed 260,000 lives.

Several areas of Somalia are threatened by famine, especially in the south, where the presence of Shebab jihadistswhich swears allegiance to Al Qaeda, makes access to humanitarian organizations extremely difficult.

Three million cattle died due to the drought by mid-2021, catastrophic record in a predominantly livestock country, where many families depend on herds for meat, milk, trade.

Alongside, The prices of basic food products are constantly risingdue to insufficient harvest in the region and the skyrocketing cost of imports, partly due to the war in Ukraine.

So far, less than 20% of the amount needed to prevent famine has been raised through donations, which means that hundreds of thousands of people are running “Real danger of starvation”, warns the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Somalia, Etienne Petersmith.

“We call on the international community to act quickly, as we still hope to prevent (…) a general famine in Somalia.“, He added.

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