Fears of Somalia’s famine force mothers to bury their children.


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Hassan was faced with starvation and took her remaining eight children along to begin the 15-day trek that would take them to Mogadishu. Two-year-old Hassan’s daughter collapsed at the end of their journey and later died. They also buried her on the way.

She said that she cried so hard, that I lost consciousness. “But, we have so many difficulties.” We don’t have food or shelter.

As Hassan, a tiny girl curled up on her lap in a chair at a Mogadishu clinic run by International Rescue Committee (IRC), sits exhaustedly in Hassan’s eyes.

Muslimo, her 18-month-old daughter, is just over 10 pounds. Her jutting ribs are covered in papery skin. She doesn’t even cry. The doctor measured her tiny right forearm. The tape is red and indicates severe malnutrition.

The clinic has experienced an 80% increase in cases over the past month and a 265% rise in severe malnutrition among children younger than 5, according to Mukhtar Mahdi, senior nutrition manager at IRC.

“We have never seen these levels before in our clinic. It breaks my heart. To prevent a catastrophe, I’m still in the field.

Opinion: 44 million people now face extreme hunger. The US must do more to help
Somalia was here before. In 2011, famineOver 250,000 people died in the famine. Another famine was prevented in 2017 by an influx of humanitarian aid from the international community and the Somalian government, who vowed to never let it happen again.
The perfect storm is now brewing in this country. This country was in crisis after four consecutive rainy seasons failed and the economic fallout due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its subsequent annexation was followed by the ensuing crisis. Ukraine blocks wheat exportsThe disruption of the supply chain has had a devastating effect on the world. Russia’s sanctions sent fuel prices and food prices spiralling, which could have a devastating effect on Somalia.

Mohamud Mohamed Hassan is the country director of Save the Children. He says the current situation is worse than anything he’s ever seen.

He said that 92% of the wheat consumed in Somalia comes from Russia or Ukraine. “In some places, the price of wheat has doubled.”

“The war in Ukraine has really made this worse.”

This is compounded by the fact that the conflict with Ukraine has taken global attention. The UN says that a total of 62 countries have reported on the conflict in Ukraine. Somalia needs less than a third the $1.46 billionIt has been secured.

Lara Fossi is the deputy director of World Food Programme. She stated, “What’s happening to Ukraine is understandably sucking up lots of oxygen.” It has been difficult to bring attention to the events in Ukraine.

Fatima Abdullahi extends her hand to touch her 8 month old daughter Abdi, hospitalized for severe malnutrition. Doctors say she, like vast majority of the cases that they catch in time and are able to treat, will recover.

UN estimates that around 7 million Somalians don’t have enough food, or nearly half the population. It estimates 1.5 million children ​under the age of 5 are acutely malnourished and some 448 have died this year. Aid workers warn that the true number is much higher, as many deaths, including those of Hassan, of children in this region go unrecorded.

The Al Na’im Camp is a camp of makeshift tents that has been recently established. It can be seen from the outskirts. It is one of many informal settlements which spring up and get little support from government, aid groups, or the community nearby. Zamzam Mohammed, the camp administrator, said that its population has increased significantly in the past month and now houses 876 families.

Camp leader Zamzam Mohammed is responsible for helping families, and burying their dead.

According to UN, this is just a fraction of the nearly 800,000 people forced from their homes by hunger and drought. UNICEF states that the record number of Somalia’s new arrivals in camps across Somalia during June was 36,000. UNICEF and its local partner agency are working together to improve sanitation and distribute assistance in Na’im, and other camps near Mogadishu. However, they say that it is difficult to keep up with the pace.

Victor Chinyama, UNICEF’s Victor Chinyama, says that local communities in Mogadishu are struggling to support new arrivals. “Host communities cannot support new arrivals the way they used too, or like they would like to,” he stated.

Little is available to mark the graves.

Mohammed, camp director, marches towards the camp’s edge and claims that she has overseen the burials for 30 children. A line is drawn between mounds of freshly dug soil, which has been marked with aloe leaves or acacia branches.

“From this corner to that one, this line is all graves… When you bury a child, you feel so much pain and sadness. There is nothing you can do to help. Mohammed stated, “I am a mother and I can feel their pain.

She uses her headcarf to wipe the tears from her eyes.

Nourta Alhumey is seated outside her tent, some 500 yards away. Three of her three children are among the buried here. All of them died from malnutrition. Contracting measlesAt the camp. She has not yet visited their graves.
Nourta Ali Humey only has strength to care for her living daughter. She is yet to visit the graves of three children she lost.

CNN reported that she said, “I can’t bear to go.” “The grief would I feel

She pauses and turns her attention towards her little girl, who is sitting beside her.

“She’s been very sick. When she feels better, I will be there to visit her.


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