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One in four Somalis could go hungry by the end of the year - UN

One in four Somalis could go hungry by the end of the year - UN
FILE - Newly arrived Somalis, displaced by a drought, receive food distributions at makeshift   -  
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Farah Abdi Warsameh/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.


A quarter of Somalia's population, or 4.3 million people, is at risk of going hungry by the end of the year, the UN has warned, as the impoverished country in the Horn of Africa faces deadly floods.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the floods have severely affected communities already struggling to recover from the worst drought in decades, which brought millions to the brink of starvation.

Humanitarian aid has so far prevented a famine situation, but according to the WFP, Somalia is facing its worst levels of malnutrition for more than a decade.

Due to insufficient funding, the UN agency is only able to provide food assistance to less than half of those most in need.

"But with a quarter of Somalia's population - 4.3 million people - expected to face crisis food insecurity or worse... by the end of the year, support from the humanitarian community remains a lifeline", added the WFP.

At least 31 people have died and some 500,000 have had to leave their homes in Somalia due to flooding caused by incessant rain, according to an official report on Sunday.

Since the beginning of November, Somalia has been experiencing incessant rainfall due to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has flooded homes and farmland. El Niño is currently amplifying the rainy season in the Horn of Africa, with serious consequences in Ethiopia (at least 20 dead) and Kenya (at least 15 dead).

Somalia, where the majority of the country's 17 million inhabitants live off livestock and agriculture, is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, experiencing extreme weather phenomena with greater frequency and intensity.

This poor country is also prey to attacks by Islamist fighters, affiliated to al-Qaeda, who have been waging a bloody insurrection for over 15 years.

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