G7, food shortage. Save the Children: 38% of children are severely malnourished – il Fatto Nisseno

Germany will host leaders from key G7 democracies to discuss and seek a common approach to addressing some of today’s key global challenges.

These also include hunger and malnutrition, especially in children, which is rising for the first time in decades. In a country like Somalia, for example, the famine crisis is accelerating its pace more than feared. According to current official estimates, the number of people in emergencies close to famine has increased fivefold, from 38,000 in May to 213,000 in September.

In the country, about 386 thousand children suffer from severe malnutrition, which without treatment can lead to death, as Save the Children condemns. The severely malnourished children admitted to Save the Children’s supported clinics in Somalia last May were already more than 5,000, an increase of 38% compared to the same period in 2021, when there were 3,635. In just one malnutrition center in Baidoa in southern Somalia, a record number of children, 324 were hospitalized, nearly three times more than in the same period last year.

The number of cases expected for June has already surpassed the figures for the same period last year, with one week left until the end of the month and eight children dead in May. The number of deaths among children is rising dramatically as they increasingly reach centers of extreme malnutrition and other diseases.

Babies regularly receive only tea or diluted milk powder. Many mothers consume only one meal a day with sorghum and light tea. Under these conditions, it is the youngest children who are most prone to severe malnutrition, which causes blurred vision, muscle wasting, vital organ failure and in the most desperate cases death.

Hunger in Somalia is driven by a deadly mix of factors never seen before. The country is heavily affected by the climate crisis and the contagious effects of the war in Ukraine, even thousands of kilometers away. Four missed rainy seasons in a row have caused the country’s worst drought in 40 years, leaving millions of people on the brink of the world’s biggest famine in the last five years.

Pastures, crops and livestock across the country have been destroyed. Meteorologists warn of the existence of a significant and unprecedented risk of a fifth rainy season crisis in a row. In addition, Somalia imports 90% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine. The sharp price increases caused by the conflict make basic necessities increasingly inaccessible.

In recent months, the price of basic products such as cooking oil and sorghum has doubled in many areas of the country, and diesel has come to cost 42% more than at the beginning of 2022. Increasingly serious situation, families in Somalia are trying to resist. Since the beginning of the year, more than 500,000 people have fled their homes to find food, water and health care and to allow their own and their children’s survival.

“The world is facing the biggest global catastrophe of the 21st century: the famine situation. Millions of families are trying to feed their children with nutritious food, but malnutrition continues to rise. In addition, the Ukrainian crisis has exacerbated the situation and contributed to food shortages and drive “In the Horn of Africa, there is a real famine and caring for malnourished children is not enough for everyone,” said Gabriella Waaijman, Humanitarian Director of Save the Children, in the light of the G7 summit. “The time for reflection is over. People are dying. We urge the G7 countries, key players in the response to food security, to address the issue of global malnutrition as soon as possible, ”he continued, , to support the people who in crises like these are the most vulnerable, ie babies, children and women ”.

“Currently, the G7 has proposed the creation of a Food Safety Alliance, which, however, does not recognize the fundamental role of nutrition in keeping people alive and healthy, especially women and children. We welcome the efforts to prioritize food safety and mobilize resources to tackle it. growing hunger situation – he concluded – However, traditional food aid is not enough to save severely malnourished children from the risk of death, nor will they be needed to stem the ever-increasing rise in malnutrition, which reverses decades of progress in development , which endangers the protection of children and especially girls, their education and their health as well as their future sustenance ”.

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