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Somalia faces third and most severe drought in a decade

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Farah Abdi Warsameh/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Somalia is currently facing its third and most severe drought of the last decade.

Isolated areas, particularly villages and settlements in central and southern regions, are the most affected.

 Women and children are particularly vulnerable. Many have no choice but to leave.

"There are now new camps that have been setup in Kismayo. Every day we admit around six patients who have been referred here. And they are coming from that area. At least they receive food at the camps. but for the people who live in Jamame, Jilib, and Buale area. No one is giving them food. They don't not have access to nutrition services. They don't have access to health services. They don't get emergency humanitarian assistance. This causes a continuous malnutrition crisis", said Feisal Adan Ibrahim, supervisor of operations of the stabilization center in Kismayo General Hospital.

The journey to safety involves passing through territories controlled by armed groups.

Abdi Dagane, member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team based in Kismayo, adds "the situation here is very desperate. We see a lot more people coming to the stabilization centre.
We are seeing more malnourished children. But our biggest worry, and we are getting reports, is that the situation is far worse in the rural areas. And there are no health services there. That's our biggest worry right now".

Since January that more than 120,000 people arrived to the camps around Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

Humanitarian organisations estimate that 1.4 million children, nearly half of Somalia’s under five population, are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition provoked by the drought.

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