New study shows severe malnutrition rates are
soaring in nearly half the surveyed districts
Erin Taylor 267.250.8829 (M)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 29, 2017) —
20,000 children across nine districts in Somalia risk starving to death in a
few months unless the international community continues to provide life-saving
aid to the drought-stricken country, Save the Children is warning.
results released by the humanitarian organization and conducted in
partnership with Concern Worldwide and Action Against Hunger, show the number
of severe acute malnutrition cases—the most dangerous form of hunger—have
skyrocketed in nearly half of the nine districts assessed. In the district of
Mataban alone, 9.5 percent of children under five are now severely malnourished.
A series of
indicators tied to malnutrition, food supplies and mortality rates must be met
for a famine to be declared. The survey results show the nutrition indicator is
pointing to famine-like conditions in some areas of the country.
“The lack of food
and rising numbers of severely malnourished children are distressing, to say
the least,” said Hassan Noor Saadi, Save the Children’s Country Director in
recent rains have been erratic and have not performed well enough to guarantee
crop growth, and families continue to lose what little remains of their
livelihoods and livestock, leaving them with few options to provide for their
children, indicating a clear risk of famine.”
An estimated $1.5
billion is needed to help humanitarian organizations working on the ground save
lives, of which only $550 million has been funded to date. Save the Children is
urgently calling on the international community to continue funding the drought
response in Somalia.
“The first half
of the year saw significant levels of support from donors, which allowed us to
help nearly one million vulnerable children. But these funds will soon run out,
leaving millions at risk unless additional funding is made available,” Saadi
“We welcome the
UK government’s recent announcement to provide an additional $75 million to the
response, and the US government’s ongoing commitment. We urge other donors to
follow suit and make more funds available. Otherwise, we risk repeating the
horrors of 2011, when a famine caused over 250,000 people – half of them
children – to needlessly lose their lives.”
diseases like cholera have also been persistently high across the country,
causing thousands of deaths and leaving already weakened children even more
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