Somalia. Hospitals are filling up with children who are malnourished by drought

Between January and June, the number of children hospitalized for malnutrition in Somalia doubled, and half the population suffers from hunger.

  • Somalia is experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades, adding to war and other problems.
  • Over 7 million people, half of the population, will starve by 2022. 1.4 million are children.
  • Al-Shabaab jihadist militias block the distribution of humanitarian aid.

IN Somalia hospitals are filling up with children dying of drought. As the non-governmental organization explains Concern worldwide, in recent months, the number of children hospitalized for malnutrition in Mogadishu doubled while the country is experiencing one of the most difficult periods of recent decades due to water stress.

Somalia. Hospitals fill up with drought-malnourished children © John Moore / Getty Images

Today is approx half of the population suffers from hunger and the last rainy seasons there has been no rainfall besides sporadic events, a problem that also affects neighboring countries such as. Kenya andEthiopia. And for the next rainy season, pessimism reigns.

Somalia on its knees due to drought

According to Médecins Sans Frontières the ongoing in Somalia is “the worst drought in decadesA problem that comes from the lack of rainfall in the last four rainy seasons, which has a number of severe consequences for the lives of the population, while the projections for the next season are not good.

With no water available and with rivers and lake basins drying out, the primary sector is offagriculture andfarm they are in deep crisis, with crops springing up and livestock being decimated by water stress. In addition, a number of other factors have plagued the country in recent years, increasing its vulnerability. L ‘invasion of grasshopperswhich, like the drought, has brought the economy to its knees, but also i.a. conflicts which also affects health situation of a country divided between al-Shabaab’s jihadist militias and official institutions.

Also according to the UN 7 million people they will suffer from hunger in 2022, a figure equivalent to approx the goal of the total population. A situation even worse than that 2011as yet another deep drought had caused something similar 260 thousand died. And today, hundreds of thousands of people migrate internally in search of water and food, swelling urban population and find themselves living in temporary shelters such as refugee camps.

More and more children in the hospital

Who most of all suffer from hunger in Somalia are they children. According to UN data 1.4 million minors they will be in a state of acute malnutrition by 2022 and for 330 thousand they are referred to as “extreme hunger”.

The country’s hospitals testify to the criticality of the situation, especially in the capital Mogadishu. As the NGO explains to the French newspaper Le Monde Concern worldwide“Between January and June, the number of children admitted to the hospital went on for malnutrition 120 to 230 per monthAnd in general, the number of admissions is considered as all age groups tripledso much so that there is a lack of beds and staff to help them.

Finally scarcity of humanitarian aid arrives in the country where the jihadist groups in Al Shabab hinder its distribution. The country would need 1.4 billion euros to cope with the critical socio-economic situation, but the difficulties on the ground and the general lack of interest of the international community in the Somali situation have led to only the 18 percent.

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