According to aid workers, more than 450,000 people have already left Somalia in the first ten weeks of this year in search of water and food because of the worst drought in decades. The numbers are increasing “rapidly” and more and more children are suffering from malnutrition, as Save the Children announced in Berlin.
The effects of the climate crisis are particularly felt in Somalia: the country on the Horn of Africa is struggling with the third drought in a decade. About 90 percent of the country and 4.3 million people – a quarter of the population – are affected. Some areas experienced the worst drought in 40 years, Save the Children said.
The situation is aggravated by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, which is driving up food prices and transport costs for imports such as wheat flour. “This raises fears that the deadly famine of 2011 could be repeated. Around 260,000 people died then, half of them children under the age of five.
Aid organization demands more money
“We have to do better this time. Children are already dying, and the number is increasing every day. As humanity, we have a special obligation here to prevent 2011 from repeating itself. It’s still possible,” warned Save the Children’s communications director, Martina Dase.
The organization called for the international community to step up its efforts to raise funds. An international appeal by the United Nations for humanitarian aid has so far provided only 3.8 percent of the required 1.46 billion US dollars. If not enough money is raised, the United Nations estimates that 1.4 million children could be acutely malnourished by the middle of the year – 64 percent more than two years ago.
Save the Children said the number of displaced people could rise to as many as 1.4 million this year. As a result, aid workers are concerned about access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare in many of Somalia’s 5,000 IDP camps. Funding is also needed for this. (KNA)