UN: Somalia Could Face Worst Famine in Half a Century

As it set a new United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) goal of $2B, the UN on Tuesday reported that a child is admitted to the hospital every minute for malnutrition in Somalia amid what it says is the nation's worst famine in 50 years.

UN: Somalia Could Face Worst Famine in Half a Century
Image credit: Reuters

Facts

  • As it set a new United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) goal of $2B, the UN on Tuesday reported that a child is admitted to the hospital every minute for malnutrition in Somalia amid what it says is the nation's worst famine in 50 years.
  • An estimated 7.8M Somalis — about half the population — are now affected by drought, 213k of whom are at risk of famine. 44k children were admitted to the hospital for severe acute malnutrition in August alone.
  • In what will be Somalia's second famine in a decade, and is expected to get worse over the winter, the drought has already sparked a mass migration of families who often show up to aid camps too late.
  • UNICEF has treated over 300k children for severe acute malnutrition so far this year and delivered its emergency water trucking to 500k people in the past three months, with 80% of its funding goal aimed at drought response.
  • UNICEF also says the current situation already looks worse than it did in 2011, a famine from which 250k people died in Somalia.
  • The East-African nation has suffered four successive failures in its rainy seasons since the end of 2020, with fears that a fifth failure is currently underway.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Yen, CBS, UN News, and Reuters.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Taketo News. While many factors lead to widespread famines such as this, Putin's decision to not only attack Ukraine but bomb Ukrainian grain supplies en route to Africa is at the top of the list. Droughts have historically caused Somalia and others to rely on Eastern European food imports, and now it's facing a preventable tragedy because of Putin's invasion.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by MPN News. The West, led by the US, has been intruding in Somalia for almost 30 years — a fact that's conveniently forgotten when news of a historic famine breaks. Russia didn't cause the displacement, disease, and famine faced by millions of Somalis; the US military's destabilization of the entire country did, starting decades ago.