Inside the Horn of Africa’s hunger crisis

Khadijo Ibrahim Abikar, 50, holds her severely malnourished two-year-old granddaughter, Naima Adan Ali, in a medical center supported by the Save the Children humanitarian aid organization in Baidoa, Somalia. The photograph was taken on the 10th day Naima received treatment and her health was improving. “We came due to drought,” says Abikar. “We lost all our livestock and the farm was affected locusts. Before, we had more than 55 goats and cattle were 45. Now we have only three camels and they don’t give milk because they are malnourished.”

Drought, conflict, instability, and rising prices are creating unprecedented levels of food insecurity and looming famine, photojournalist reports.

Women displaced by drought seek help at the the Gabo Gabo camp about 15 miles from Jijiga, the capital city of Somali region, Ethiopia, May 2021.

Edaba Yusuf guards the little body of Salman Mohamed Abdirahman, her four-year-old son, who passed away that morning from acute malnutrition and measles, in a makeshift shelter at one of the numerous camps for individuals who have been displaced by the continuous drought hitting the Horn of Africa. He is the third kid in less than four weeks that the mother of eight has lost to hunger.
The family left their town in southwest Somalia when two of her boys died, and they traveled to Baidoa, a city that is bordered by the al-Shabaab rebel group but is still reachable by relief organizations that can offer food, water, and medical care to help lessen the desperate situation.

At a camp in Baidoa, Somalia Edaba Yusuf sits next to the body of her four-year-old son, Salman Mohamed, who died that morning from severe malnutrition and measles. He is the third child the mother of eight has lost to hunger in less than four week…

Women displaced by drought seek help at the the Gabo Gabo camp about 15 miles from Jijiga, the capital city of Somali region, Ethiopia, May 2021.

“They were hungry, and I had nothing to sell,” says Yusuf. “I thought to myself, ‘let me move to where I can get humanitarian assistance before I lose the rest.’”
Three of her five remaining children are now sick with measles.
Hunger and food insecurity are reaching catastrophic levels in countries on the easternmost continent of Africa as a result of a lack of rain, persistent violence, political instability, and skyrocketing food costs brought on by the war in Ukraine.
The Horn of Africa is undergoing a malnutrition emergency due to the region’s worst drought in forty years, which has left many communities with unprecedented levels of food scarcity. This includes Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. According to numerous humanitarian agencies, more than 37 million people—including an estimated seven million children—are on the edge of famine.


by: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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