Anti-poverty group Action Against Hunger makes alarming noises in drought-stricken and war-torn Somalia
The international charity Action Against Hunger reports the highest levels of child malnutrition in Somalia since it began operating in the country three decades ago. The agency in its Friday press release pointed to a 55% increase in admissions to centers operating in the country from January to April this year, urging the government to do more to fund humanitarian efforts than in the same period in 2021. Poor and war-torn African nation.
The agency blamed skyrocketing food prices, unprecedented droughts and civil war for the rise in hunger. “High food prices and limited access to clean water have led to worrying outbreaks of deadly waterborne diseases such as malnutrition and cholera.” Ahmed Khalifa, Country Director of Action Against Hunger in Somalia.
He gave voice “Deep concern about the potential impact of growing hunger on peace and stability in Somalia.”
“We don’t have enough funds, medicine or beds for everyone we need.” Khalifa said.
The report concludes that only 15 percent of Somalia’s humanitarian funding needs have been met this year, based on UN data, and calls for increased and more flexible funding with uninterrupted humanitarian access.
Action Against Hunger reports that in addition to doubling fuel prices, the conflict in Ukraine has affected food prices.
The conflict, for example, threatens the supply of ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF), a type of peanut paste that restores the health of malnourished children in just six weeks. The report quoted UNICEF as predicting that the price of RUTF could rise by 16% in the next half year as transport and the ingredients used in its manufacture (oil, peanuts and sugar) continue to rise.
Action Against Hunger estimates that 6.8 million children in the Horn of Africa suffer from severe malnutrition, a region that includes Ethiopia and Kenya. According to estimates released Wednesday by the international charity Oxfam and Save the Children, 23 million people in the three countries are extremely hungry, and “Probably one person dies of hunger every 48 seconds.” Oxfam said in a statement.
Action Against Hunger says it has been operating in Somalia since 1992 and currently operates 51 treatment centers across the country. It describes its function “Preventing and treating hunger, improving water and sanitation, and strengthening the health system.”
Up to 30% of Somalia’s cattle have died since the unprecedented drought of 2021.
Somalia was plunged into civil war in 1991, as groups that ousted the military government of General Mohamed Siad Barr clashed with each other. Early U.S. intervention to protect UN peacekeepers resulted in clashes with a warring factions and the October 1993 war in Mogadishu. The United States left Somalia in March 1995, returning only a decade later as part of a “war on terror.” ‘
Al-Shabaab, whose goal is to overthrow the government and impose sharia law on the country, has often carried out bombings across the country.
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