Famine Declared in Somalia

Somalia’s southern region has officially crossed the threshold of famine according to the standards set by the United Nations based on the nutritional status of any country, which was declared on July 20th.

The United Nations stated that all of the following criteria are applied in parts of southern Somalia’s region:

-Mortality rate has exceeded two victims per day out of ten thousand
-Malnutrition has affected more than thirty percent of the population
-Lack of food that should normally reach two thousand one hundred calories per person per day
-Lack of water that should be up to four liters a day per capita

The famine that UN officially declared in Bakool and Lower Shabelle, which are under Shebab control, has affected 350,000 people. The Shebab insurgents have welcomed the efforts of the international community, after they ousted foreign relief organizations two years ago, accusing them of spying and trying to Christianize the region.

"The rest of southern Somalia is close to famine condition and is likely the conditions will deteriorate further in the next month."

The two affected regions have witnessed a displacement to the capital Mogadishu and the countries of Ethiopia and Kenya, which has reached 166 thousand displaced people.

With this constant flow, the number of displaced reaches up to a million people a day according to UN figures.

"We estimate that 300 millions US dollars is needed to address famine in the next 2 months, this is a rough estimate and the number will probably increase as the number of people in need rises."

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said that about 12 million inhabitants of Africa need urgent help, otherwise the number will upsurge unexpectedly.

In Somalia, the number of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance has increased within six months, from two million and four hundred thousand persons in need to three million and seven hundred thousand.

Original report: Adnan Al Sawadi

Adaptation: Sara Sfeir

Voice: Noora Faraj

Speaker: Mark Bowden - Humanitarian coordinator for Somalia

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