Somalia: Drought-related hunger, disease kills 110 in two days
Some 110 people died of hunger and diarrhoea in the past 48 hours in south Somalia, the country's Prime Minister said on Saturday.
A lingering drought has caused widespread food shortages across the south, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire's office said in a statement.
"It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by [hunger] and diarrhea at the same time. In the last 48 hours 110 people died due to [hunger] and diarrhea in Bay region," the Prime Minister's statement said.
Some humanitarian experts have queried whether the country's third famine in 25 years is already in place in the country. The aid agency, Plan International, announced yesterday it expects a famine status to be declared in April.
UNICEF warned last month that a potential 270,000 children were at risk of severe acute malnutrition due to the drought.
The Prime Minister tweeted on March 2 that his "priority and first emphasis" was to "assist the people affected by the severe drought and build resilience".
An on-going war with the Islamist group, al-Shabaab, coupled with a nearly three-year drought has almost crippled the country's economy - leading to the present day's famine.
More than 260,000 people died in the country's last drought, which was declared in the Southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions in July 2011.