No Official Drought/Famine Status Declared for Somalia, but Aid Needed

An East African drought has caused Somalia’s worst food shortage in 50 years. Livestock is dying in droves, and families are starving. The war in Ukraine means less food gets imported into the country.

Is it a famine?

Still, the government has not yet declared famine officially. Cathy Herholdt with World Concern explains why. “Things need to reach a certain level for an official famine to be declared. And those things are this: at least 20 percent of the population is facing extreme food shortages, at least 30 percent of children are suffering from acute malnutrition, and at least two people out of every 10,000 are dying each day due to starvation or a combination of severe hunger and illness.”

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These things are happening in pockets of Somalia but not the whole country. Several humanitarian groups issued a joint statement, saying global aid can’t wait until the famine is officially declared.

Herholdt concurs. She says, “I spoke with our country director recently. He said they had gone out to a village to assess the situation. As soon as they pulled in, there was a mother who just ran up to the vehicle with her child in her arms, and the child was just on the brink of death.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller


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