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HomeWorld NewsHalf of Somalia's population hungry as drought bites

Half of Somalia’s population hungry as drought bites

The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in four decades. According to the World Food Program, up to 20 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia might starve to death by the end of the year. 

Experts claim that agricultural fields are empty, harvests have failed, and roadways are littered with the carcasses of dead animals. In a scene that is a harsh reality, famine is looming as the first deaths have been reported. According to records, one center in Baidoa marked the deaths of at least 26 children between May and June. 

In rural Somalia, hundreds of thousands of people continue to flee their homes and move to internal displacement camps. Many of the camps are filled with thousands of unaccompanied children. Older children take on the caregiver role as fathers and mothers either search for food or risk getting stuck in hospitals where severe malnutrition rates are at an all-time high.

In a country where leaving your land was unprecedented, a grandmother recounted how she had never had to leave her land before. Halima Hassan Abdullahi hadn’t seen anything like it since the early 1990s, when a famine triggered a disastrous U.S. military intervention in Somalia that ended notoriously with the shooting down of a Black Hawk helicopter. 

Another local account from 13-year-old, Fardhosa told BBC in a makeshift hut at a camp in Baidoa, “Some of the girls I used to play with are still alive. Some died, while others have moved to the capital city Mogadishu where they work as house helps.” Charities such as Save the Children have noted and published an increase in psychosocial stress among children and their caregivers.

As the world widens its scope regarding understanding psychology, Mahamoud Hassan, Somalia’s Save the Children country director, claimed, “Negative childhood experiences result in… children needing psychosocial support… Parents say children are becoming violent and aggressive.” 

Somalia is now bearing the brunt of the starvation crisis, with half of the population currently hungry. In May of this year, 6 million people needed aid. Today, as the problem worsens, Africa’s number of people in need regretfully hit its 20 million mark.



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