Famine in Somalia has spread to engulf three quarters of the country’s regions according to the United Nations. Four million Somalis are now going hungry. The UN says hundreds are dying each day and at least half of them are children. It describes a record rate of malnutrition among youngsters.
The war-ravaged country was officially declared a famine zone in July and more than half of the population are now affected.
The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, said “The entire Bay region has now been declared a famine area. So there are now six famine areas in Somalia, up from five. In these areas there are some 750,000 people who are affected by famine conditions. This is an increase from the July figure of 350,000 people.”
Somalia is at the centre of the worst famine to hit the entire Horn of Africa for 20 years. More than 13 million people are in the grip of the crisis.
The UN’s World Food Programme is shipping food and specialised nutritional products into neighbouring Ethiopia and into Kenya as well. Already trying to deal with their own drought problems, those countries are also witnessing an influx of refugees.
UN gives stark warning about Somalia famine