15 May 2019, Mogadishu/Rome - A disastrous drought in Somalia could leave some 2.2 million people - nearly 18 percent of the population - faced with severe hunger during the July-September period, FAO warned today.
The UN agency issued a special alert on Somalia, indicating that the number of hungry people in the country this year is expected to be 40 percent higher than estimates made at the beginning of 2019.
A deteriorating nutritional status is also of major concern, according to the alert. Acute malnutrition rates as well as the number of acutely malnourished children being admitted to therapeutic feeding centres have sharply increased in 2019.
"Rains in April and early May can make or break Somalis' food security for the whole year as they are crucial for the country's main annual harvest in July, following the "Gu" rainy season," said Mario Zappacosta, FAO Senior Economist and lead of the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).