Officials of the United Nations and other humanitarian groups Friday re-emphasized a warning given in September that projected famine in Somalia between October and December, risking the lives of over half a million Somalian children who could potentially die from malnutrition.
A recent survey conducted by the global humanitarian groups which focused on camps for internally displaced people in Baidoa district found the situation was quickly deteriorating.
“Of more than 98,000 children screened between the ages of six and 59 months, 59 percent were suffering from acute malnutrition,” read the survey, adding, “24 percent of those cases were classified as sever.”
Aid workers say a previous survey conducted by humanitarian groups between June and July found 28,6 percent of children in Somalian camps were suffering from acute malnutrition, and 10,2 percent of those cases were classified as severe.
Petroc Wilton, the head of communications at Somalia’s World Food Programme, one of the U.N agencies involved in the malnutrition surveys, said their findings highlight the surge of malnutrition in Somalia.
“These very high malnutrition rates from the mass screenings are alarming and indicative of a rapidly deteriorating situation,” said Wilton.
Experts say the situation in the Horn of Africa nation is worsened by several things, among them failed rainy seasons that have triggered the worst drought in 40 years, attacks by al-Shabaab Islamist militants and the rise in global food prices.