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Somalia at risk of famine

People arriving at a displacement camp in Somalia on Sept. 21, 2022, amid a drought. Photo by Jerome Delay for The Associated Press.

Somalia at risk of famine

An estimated 43,000 people have died over the last year from Somalia’s longest recorded drought, according to an estimate released Monday by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The report describes half of the victims as children under age five. The last five rainy seasons have failed in Somalia, as well as neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya. The UN says 3.8 million people in Somalia are displaced, while over 6 million in the country are hungry.

What will come next? The report projects between 18,000 and 34,000 people will die in the first six months of 2023. While the UN has not declared the situation a famine, some climate officials say current trends are worse than those of the country’s famine in 2011, when a quarter of a million people died. In a textbook famine, over one-fifth of households have extreme food gaps, over 30 percent of children are acutely malnourished, and over two out of 10,000 people are dying every day. 

Dig deeper: Read Onize Ohikere’s report in WORLD Magazine about hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Elias Ferenczy

Elias Ferenczy is a breaking news intern for WORLD. He’s a graduate of WORLD Journalism Institute and Covenant College.

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