5 Mar 2017

Somalia PM: Drought killed 110 in 48 hrs

10:47 am on 5 March 2017

In the past two days, 110 people have died in southern Somalia due to drought, the county's Prime Minister has said.

Somalian Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire

Somalian Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire Photo: AFP

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who assumed office on Wednesday, said on Saturday they had died from famine and diarrhea resulting from the drought.

The area was preparing for further widespread shortages of food.

In February, United Nations children's agency UNICEF said the drought in Somalia could lead to up to 270,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition this year.

"It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by famine and diarrhea at the same time. In the last 48 hours 110 people died due to famine and diarrhea in Bay region," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire's office said in a statement.

"The Somali government will do its best, and we urge all Somalis wherever they are to help and save the dying Somalis," he said in the statement released after a meeting of a famine response committee.

Somalia's President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, declared the drought a national disaster on Tuesday.

As well as the lack of food caused by the drought, there are many cases of dehydration.

Domestic animals were also dying in large numbers.

In 2011, some 260,000 people starved to death due to famine in Somalia.

Another 220,000 died in another famine in 1992.

The country also continues to be rocked by security problems, with the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government coming under regular attack from al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab.

- Reuters / BBC

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