Africa

Aid groups warn of famine in Somalia

361722_Somalia-hunger

International aid agencies have warned about an acute hunger crisis in Somalia less than three years after a devastating famine in the country.

More than 20 aid agencies said in a statement on Wednesday that weak and erratic rains, military conflict and little foreign aid funding have led to the current precarious situation.

“We’re very concerned that at the minute there are so many indicators out there that Somalia is in trouble,” said Ed Pomfret of the aid agency Oxfam.

“The problem with Somalia is that it has been a crisis for over 20 years… people more or less roll their eyes and think: ‘pirates, terrorists, hunger and death, what can I do about that?'” he added.

“If we don’t act now, we risk the current crisis becoming a catastrophe.”

The UN’s food and security unit says 51,000 malnourished children in Somalia are at a very high risk of death.

The aid agencies said immediate actions should be taken to stop the country slipping back into crisis.

“We need to move now from early warning to early action,” said Andrew Lanyon, the head of the Somalia Resilience Program, a coalition of aid agencies.

More than 250,000 people died in Somalia’s 2011 famine, which was caused by a drought.

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