24 Apr 2011

Malnutrition rates high among Somali children

8:12 am on 24 April 2011

The United Nations says children in Somalia are suffering some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world as drought continues to affect the country.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) says there was a complete crop failure in southern Somalia affecting about 2.5 million people. One in four children are malnourished.

A FAO official says UN agencies have raised only a third of the food aid required by Somalia and other aid groups are also short of funds.

As well as the current drought, Somalia has experienced more than 20 years of conflict between Islamist insurgents and the transitional government, backed by African Union peacekeepers.