43,000 people have died last year in Somalia’s longest drought

A report by World Health Organisation says that half of the dead are children

RH Monitoring Desk

March 20

A new report has estimated that 43,000 people have died in Somalia last year with half of them likely were children amid the longest on-record drought in the country.

“The current crisis is far from over,” the report released by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations children’s agency and carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said on Monday.

It is the first official death toll announced in the drought-impacted country. For the sixth consecutive year, Somalia and neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya have failed to get a rainy season triggering rising global food prices which in turn complicate the hunger crisis.

A food security assessment released in February said nearly a half-million children in Somalia are likely to be severely malnourished this year.

Some humanitarian and climate officials have warned that trends are worse than in the 2011 famine in Somalia in which a quarter-million people died.

Millions of livestock have died in the current crisis compounded by climate change and insecurity as Somalia battles thousands of fighters with al-Qaida’s East Africa affiliate, al-Shabab.

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