Nairobi, Kenya — An estimated 43,000 people died in Somalia’s longest recorded drought last year, half of them probably children, according to a new report. It was the first official death toll released in the drought that has depleted much of the Horn of Africa, and the report made clear that “the crisis is far from over”.
At least 18,000 people are expected to die in the first six months of the year, according to a report released Monday by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Agency and carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Somalia and its neighbors Ethiopia and Kenya are facing six consecutive failed rainy seasons, while rising global food prices continue to complicate the hunger crisis.
The United Nations and partners earlier this year said they were not expecting a formal famine declaration in Somalia for the time being, but called the situation with more than 6 million starving people in the country alone “extremely critical.”
Famine is the combination of extreme starvation, malnutrition and diseases such as cholera resulting in high mortality due to extreme food shortages. Official famine declarations show that more than one-fifth of her households are severely food insecure, more than 30% of children are acutely malnourished, and more than two in 10,000 die each day. means that
The trend is worse than the famine that killed 250,000 people in Somalia in 2011, some humanitarian and climate change officials have warned this year.
Millions of livestock are also dying in the current crisis, as a correspondent for CBS News Deborah Patta found herself, exacerbated by climate change and unrest as Somalia battles Al-Shabab, the East African branch of al-Qaeda, and thousands of fighters. According to the United Nations Organization for Migration, 3.8 million people have been displaced, a record high.
In 2011, the last time famine was declared in Somalia, more than 250,000 people died from malnutrition, half of them under the age of five. The world vowed never to let this happen again, but a food security assessment released last month said nearly half a million children in Somalia are likely to be severely malnourished this year, with many Humanitarian officials say the world is looking elsewhere.
Somalia’s Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Adam Abdelmoula, told visiting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield at a briefing in Mogadishu in January, “Many of the traditional donors have washed their hands and returned to Ukraine. focused.
The new report’s stark numbers highlight how climate change is wreaking havoc on children in Somalia. Children in Somalia are among the youngest victims of global warming among the countries with the least carbon emissions responsibility.CBS News visited an intensive care ward where every child is under the age of 5 . They were all hospitalized with the drought caused by climate change that has starved the country.
Late last year, officials said another Somali child was in hospital suffering from malnutrition every minute of every day.