(ANSA) – GENEVA, JUN 07 – In Somalia, about 386,000 children are in desperate need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition that threatens their survival, UNICEF warned.
The figure has risen by more than 15 percent in five months and calls for an immediate response to avert an explosion in the number of deaths, said Rania Dagash, UNICEF’s deputy regional director for East Africa from Geneva.
The country of the Horn of Africa, a region hit by a severe drought aggravated by the surge in food prices, is on the verge of a devastating famine. “If we don’t act now, the situation will likely be worse than it was in 2011.
But if the resources arrive immediately, we can save hundreds of thousands of lives “, added the head of the UN agency for children, in a video link from Nairobi.
Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO representative in Somalia, from Geneva specified that, according to the latest analyzes on food security, of the 7.1 million people in a situation of food “crisis”, about 2.1 million are in the “emergency” phase. (IPC 4 on the Integrated Food Safety Classification Scale) of very high acute malnutrition, with increasing levels of mortality among children and adults.
In addition, the number of people in the IPC 5 (or “catastrophe”) phase, characterized by an extreme lack of food, has risen to about 213,000. “They face starvation and poverty,” said the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (HANDLE).
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