Nearly a quarter of a million people are facing starvation in Somalia as drought worsens and global food prices hover near record highs, United Nations agencies have said.
The agencies said on Monday that a fourth consecutive rainy season had failed in the Horn of Africa country, and meteorologists are warning of another below-average rainy season later this year as the world’s climate becomes more erratic.
At the same time, world food prices are close to record highs as the Russia-Ukraine war roils markets for staple grains and edible oils.
Around 213,000 Somalis are at risk of starvation, a near threefold increase from levels expected in April, according to a statement from the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The agencies said some 7.1 million Somalis or nearly half the population face acute levels of food insecurity, meaning they will be barely able to get the minimum calories they need and might have to sell assets to survive.