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Culture, Economic Inequality, Government, Health Disparities, Inequality, Politics, Poverty, Public Health, Social Justice, Society, Uncategorized, Women's Health

Report: Up To 200,000 Somali Children Could Die From Malnutrition

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Up to 200,000 children under the age of five could die from severe malnutrition in Somalia by the end of the year unless the United Nations receives emergency funds to stave off mass hunger, U.N. officials said this week.

Only $15 million has been received in the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) $150 million appeal to donor states to provide vital health services to more than 3 million women and children in the Horn of Africa nation this year, the agency said.

“If funding is not received immediately, UNICEF will have to suspend essential life-saving health services within one month,” said spokesman Christophe Boulierac.
”Somalia has 200,000 children under the age of five at risk of death (by) the end of the year 2014 from severe malnutrition if they do not receive life saving therapeutic assistance,” he said at a news briefing.

Somalia has the highest levels of malnutrition in the world, according to UNICEF. Up to 300,000 children in Somalia suffer from acute malnutrition each year, and more than 70 percent of the population lacks reliable access to safe water. Severe droughts have caused a sharp rise in food prices, making the crisis even worse.

Somalia’s government is struggling to impose any sense of order, more than two decades after the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre tipped the country into chaos. The unrest in Somalia has affected women and children the most. More and more children are being orphaned after losing their parents or being separated from them during crisis, leaving many children to fend for themselves on the street.

UNICEF has been providing 70 percent of health services including medicines, vaccinations, staff salaries and fuel to run hospital generators, especially in central and southern Somalia, Boulierac said.

Western nations fear the country could sink back into chaos and provide a launch pad for Islamist militancy.

 The capital Mogadishu has been hit by a series of suicide bomb attacks in the past few months, claimed by al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, who have waged a sustained guerrilla campaign even after being pushed out of the city in mid-2011.

 

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