Projected number of severely malnourished Somali children up 50 percent

03 May 2017

The projected number of children who are or will be acutely malnourished has shot up by 50 per cent since the beginning of the year to 1.4 million, including over 275,000 who have or will suffer life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in 2017.

Severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die of killer diseases like cholera / acute watery diarrhea and measles, which are spreading. During the 2011 famine in Somalia that killed an estimated 260,000 — over half of them young children — the main causes of death among children were diarrhea and measles.

"UNICEF and partners have treated over 56,000 severely malnourished children so far this year — almost 90 per cent more than the same period in 2016," said Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Somalia Representative. "But the combination of drought, disease and displacement are deadly for children, and we need to do far more, and faster, to save lives".

Around 615,000 people, the vast majority of them women and children, have been displaced by drought since November 2016.

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