FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL
Every three seconds, a child dies of hunger… (1, 2, 3)
This year the United Nations has declared a famine in two regions of Southern Somalia. This is the first time true famine has been declared in the last 30 years.
Somalia is a country located in the ‘Horn of Africa’, in the most eastern part of Africa, bordered by others like Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the Yemen.
Somalia is considered to be one of the poorest and most violent states in the world. It suffers with very hot conditions all year round and has irregular rainfall and monsoon winds.
This year, weather conditions have meant that there has been no rainfall in Somalia for two years, causing crop failure and widespread loss of livestock. This has meant that food prices have increased but wages have fallen. Tens of thousands of people have died even before the crisis was announced.
Many people have abandoned their homes and made their way into neighbouring countries hoping to find food and water. In September, more than 920,000 refugees have fled to the neighbouring countries. They arrive in places like Dadaab, which has a temporary tent city, and more than 1,500 people continue to arrive there everyday. Most of them are women and children.
Mothers have walked for many days with their children, and many of them walk without shoes, hoping to find some food and shelter at the end of their journey. Sadly, the children have often died before they get there.
Even if the starving children make it as far as the refugee camps, many of them die due to severe malnutrition and/or disease. Doctors try to treat the very worst cases but even they cannot save all of them.
Measles and other childhood diseases have broken out in the camps as immunisation is not common in many places in Somalia. Malaria and cholera are also a huge problem, caused by unsanitary conditions. It has been estimated that around 30,000 children under the age of 5 years, have died, and that more...