United Nations Declares Famine In Southern Somalia

United Nations Declares Famine In Southern Somalia

The United Nations has declared a famine in Somalia as east Africa continues to suffer through its worst drought in 50 years.

The UN said that in two regions of southern Somalia, Bakool and Lower Shabelle, the rate of serious malnutrition among children was now high enough to be considered a famine.

More than 30 percent of children in the region are now acutely malnourished. Around four in 10,000 children are now dying every day.

It is the first time in almost twenty years that Somalia has seen famine inside its borders.

"Across the country nearly half of the Somali population - 3.7 million people - are now in crisis, of whom an estimated 2.8 million people are in the south," the UN said in a statement.

"Consecutive droughts have affected the country in the last few years, while the ongoing conflict has made it extremely difficult for agencies to operate and access communities in the south of the country," it added.

The UN also warned that famine could spread to all eight regions of southern Somalia in two months if more is not done to halt the crisis.

The UN says that more than 10 million people in east Africa as a whole have been affected by the droughts, and that the ongoing conflict in Somalia had made it difficult for aid to reach the people there.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell told the BBC that the response to the disaster from developed countries had been "derisory and dangerously inadequate".

Unicef has sent us this video, which has scenes that may upset some viewers. You can donate to the Disasters Emergency Commitee appeal for East Africa by clicking here.


What's Hot