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Drought Threatens over 6 Million in Somalia

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Local Editor

The United Nations [UN] said that the current drought in Somalia is threatening half of the country's population, or about 6 million people.

Somalian family facing drought

Aid agencies had scaled up efforts but say more support is urgently needed. The emergency is joined by similar hunger crises in South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Yemen, which together make up what the UN calls the world's largest humanitarian disaster in more than 70 years.

Africa's hunger crisis strikes as President Donald Trump's proposed budget would pull the US from its traditional role as the world's largest donor to emergencies.

The crisis had once again uprooted hundreds of thousands of people across Somalia, which already had a sprawling diaspora of 2 million people after a quarter-century of conflict.

Drought-stricken families are on the move, trying to reach points where international aid agencies are distributing food. The agencies cannot distribute food in areas under the occupation of al-Shabab, Somalia's homegrown al-Qaida-affiliated extremist militants. Somalia's fragile central government struggles to assert itself beyond the capital and other limited areas.

Between November and the end of February, around 257,000 people in this Horn of Africa nation had been internally displaced because of the drought, according to the UN refugee agency. Some are moving to urban areas, others into neighboring countries.

Each day, dozens of new arrivals come into this camp. Exhausted and starving women hold children crying from hunger, sheltering in huts to avoid the scorching sun. Unable to breastfeed, all they can do is swaddle the children with pieces of fabric and rock them to try to calm them to sleep.

They see nowhere else to go, and no aid so far had reached them.

somalia | africa hunger crisis

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team