International children’s charity World Vision has warned that hundreds of thousands of children in Somalia are facing starvation amidst the continued conflict and drought.
World Vison Somalia’s national director, Simon Nyabwengi, urged the international community to provide an immediate response to help save the lives of the most vulnerable children. He said, ‘The crisis in Somalia risks sliding into yet another famine unless we act urgently and swiftly’.
World Vision is appealing for £15.1 million to respond to the needs of approximately 530,000 people who have been most severely affected by the drought. The charity has stated their concern that the drought and food shortages are increasing the levels of tuberculosis (TB) in communities.
Over 20 per cent of all children under the age of 14 are contracting TB, according to experts within World Vision. Poor nutrition and lack of access to clean water is exacerbating the situation.
Between 2014 and 2016 World Vision UK managed to gain an 88.5 per cent treatment rate for TB. However, it is increasingly challenging to track the number of people requiring healthcare, as the drought forces communities to travel in search for water and food.
Experts already warn that there are possibilities the tuberculosis strain may develop into multidrug resistant TB, which is much more difficult to treat.
The United Nations has warned that over five million Somalis are starving due to poor rains and continued fighting in parts of the country. Nyabwengi said, ‘Some 320,000 children, under age five, are acutely malnourished; and 50,000 of them are so severely malnourished that they risk dying without emergency intervention’.
The crisis is compounded by the continued displacement of people, which is one of the key factors making it difficult to treat and provide aid to communities. World Vision is appealing for funds to support children and families through distributing water, sanitation, food security, hygiene, health and nutrition, shelter and livelihoods programmes.