Famine Is Declared in Sixth Region of Somalia; 750,000 May Starve to Death
“There is a continuing deterioration,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden told reporters in Nairobi today. “Other areas of the country are falling into the critical category and in need of assistance, which includes parts of the north of the country as well.”
Hundreds of people, at least half of them children, are dying every day in Somalia and the food crisis will probably persist until at least the end of the year, Grainne Moloney, chief technical officer of the UN Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, said at the same briefing.
Famine has now spread to the southern Bay Region, according to a statement from the FSNAU and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network handed to reporters today in Nairobi. It joins Bakool, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle and displaced communities in Afgoye and Mogadishu, the capital, all hit by Somalia’s lowest annual food production in 17 years.
The number of people requiring food assistance has increased to 4 million, or 53 percent of Somalia’s population, from 3.7 million people in July. Rains expected between October and December may bring a new threat through the spread of illnesses such as cholera, and there isn’t enough funding available to stop an outbreak of disease, Bowden said.
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