The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned Sunday that more than seven million people are on the brink of famine due to the catastrophic drought that is hitting nearly twenty regions of Somalia.
The United Nations estimates, in this regard, that almost half of the population (nearly eight million people) need humanitarian aid, and that 918,000 have been forced to leave their homes in search of water, food or pasture, including minority groups.
The UN also warns that 17 districts in the country face a “reasonable possibility of famine” as harvests continue to deteriorate, food prices continue to rise, and the delivery of humanitarian aid is becoming an “unsustainable” task.
The child population is the first victim of this famine: one and a half million suffer from “acute malnutrition,” and one in eight children die in the country before their fifth birthday.
“Without increased assistance, the drought will lead to an exodus of the population, accompanied by contagious diseases and human rights violations in the country,” the UN concludes.