When most of their livestock died in the drought that devastated Somalia, life became even harder for Anab* and her 10 children. Thanks to compassionate supporters like you, Save the Children was able to provide desperately needed food relief, but only enough to last a month. Urgent help is needed for this family to survive.

CHILD HUNGER CRISIS AND FAMINE RELIEF FUND
Children in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Yemen are facing a devastating food crisis – causing extreme hunger. The littlest children, weakened by malnutrition, are also more susceptible to life-threatening diseases. In response, Save the Children is helping children and families with emergency assistance. But we can’t do it without you.

In Drought-Ravaged Somalia, a Mother Worries Whether Her Children Will Survive Once the Food Runs Out

Anab* and her family are struggling to survive in a small village in Somalia that, like most others in the region, has been devastated by drought.

Below-average rains during the rainy season, followed by an exceptionally harsh dry season have caused worsening drought in many parts of the country. And the spring rains weren’t enough to save withering crops and dying livestock.

In a country still recovering from the 2016-17 drought, the worsening conditions are having a devastating impact on millions of families like Anab’s. Simply put, Somalia is at risk of a major humanitarian crisis.

"Families have simply not had enough time to recover from the prolonged drought of 2017, where their herds died en masse and thousands of people were forced to move to camps to access food and water,” explains Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children’s country director in Somalia.

At least 1.2 million children under age 5 will suffer from being acutely malnourished throughout the year, including at least 178,400 children facing severe acute malnourishment.

“Our worst fears are being confirmed, with a million children once again set to suffer through the degrading, miserable impacts of drought,” said Mohamud.

For now, Anab and her children are surviving on a month’s worth of flour, peas, rice and cooking oil supplied by Save the Children. Most of the animals they owned died in the drought. Not only did the family’s goats and camels help carry water for drinking, washing and cooking, the livestock provided income-generating milk.

Now, Anab and her children must trek daily in the high heat to carry water back to their simple home.

The family were living as nomadic pastoralists, but the drought drove them into a village where they are still struggling to survive. There are no schools or medical facilities. The toilets are dirty. Food is scarce and the local shops won’t give Anab, who built their house with her own hands, more credit to add to her existing debt.

“I worry a lot,” the mother of 10 says. “When your child is sick and you have no money and no hospital nearby, you will be worried thinking where and what you should do.”

Anab doesn’t know how she and her children will survive once the food runs out. Despite the hardships, she tries to remain hopeful and plan for a brighter future.

“What makes me happy is to watch my children acquire education, when they wear nice clothes and go to sleep with a full stomach.”

Although Save the Children was able to provide Anab and her family with lifesaving relief, with so many people affected by drought, our resources are stretched to the limit. We desperately need your support to not only meet the immediate need, but to put in place longer-term solutions.

You can help give Anab and families like hers in Somalia the help they need to ease their worries – and rekindle hope for their children.

Save the Children is working to help affected communities in Somalia to cope with the immediate humanitarian effects of drought. Through donor support, we are providing emergency water supplies, treating children who are malnourished. We are supporting education systems so that children do not miss vital learning while displaced by drought. In addition, we are running health facilities and providing cash and livelihood support to the most vulnerable. To learn more about our work in Somalia, visit savethechildren.org/somalia.

*Name changed for protection

Welcome!

We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add support@savechildren.org to your contact list.