MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has said that at least 200 children in Somalia have died of malnutrition since January, with the country witnessing “catastrophic food insecurity” for the first time since 2017.
Drought conditions have deteriorated following an unprecedented fourth consecutive failed rainy season in eight regions of the country, up from six regions in May this year, bringing the affected families to the brink of famine, according to the UN.
“More than 7 million people are affected, up from 6.1 million in May, and over 805,000 are displaced,” said a statement issued by the UN humanitarian affairs agency.
In response to the drought, the UN said its humanitarian partners have launched the Drought Response and Famine Prevention Plan covering May to December 2022 to facilitate the scaling up of life-saving, life-sustaining assistance to prevent famine in the country.
$993.3 million required
The plan requires $993.3 million to implement and targets 6.4 million people, according to the UN.
The UN said the rapidly increasing humanitarian needs require a massive scale-up as its partners transition from a drought response to famine prevention.
Its statement comes hours after Somalia appealed for global aid to cope with the deadly drought.
Hunger is rising following a historical fourth consecutive failed rainy season since 2020, with 7.1 million people – 45% of the population – already acutely food insecure.