Looming famine threatens child survival as 5 million face starvation in Somalia

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 19, 2017 /CNW/ - The lives of hundreds of thousands of children are at risk as millions face the threat of famine in Somalia, warns World Vision.

The International children's charity says that the fragile country is facing a health and nutrition crisis as a result of continued drought and conflict.

Describing the country's malnutrition situation as "alarming", World Vision Somalia's National Director, Simon Nyabwengi, urged the international community to provide an immediate and concerted response to help save lives of the most vulnerable children.

World Vision aims to support 530,000 of the most severely affected people through:

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programmes
  • Food security programmes
  • Health and nutrition programmes
  • Shelter and livelihoods programmes


Simon Nyabwengi, National Director World Vision Somalia

"The crisis in Somalia risks sliding into yet another famine unless we act urgently and swiftly. Some 320,000 children under age 5 are acutely malnourished, and 50,000 of them are so severely malnourished they risk dying without emergency intervention. Compounding the crisis is the continued displacement of people as a result of fighting. This is one of the key factors curtailing our effort to build the resilience capabilities of villagers and communities in especially remote parts of Somalia." 

"Everyone in the humanitarian sector is on high alert and we don't want to see children dying again. Humanitarian organizations have become better at predicting such disasters and there is a looming crisis at hand, with heart rending consequences for children and their families and we must act now to prevent deaths. The landscape in Somalia is littered with animal carcasses. We must save the children, who will surely follow if we do not provide food, water, and health and nutrition assistance now."


  • According to the United Nations over 40 per cent of Somalia's population are starving due to poor rains and continued fighting.
  • Famine was last declared in parts of Somalia is 2011, killing 260, 000 people.
  • The maternal mortality ratio for Somalia is among the highest in the world at 732 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • Around 3 million school-age children are out of school with numbers predicted to increase.
  • Over 20 per cent of all children under 14 are contracting TB

How Canadians can help:

Help provide emergency assistance and support to Somalia and other countries through World Vision's Raw Hope initiative


Images by Steph Glinski/World Vision: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vquv60tqcm4e04m/AAAily2vyoKXuyUF5Lu1hSoca?dl=0

B-roll video: https://wetransfer.com/downloads/20bd11938299137672ab655456d77ae820170118162826/be76e1

World Vision is a relief, development, and advocacy organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, World Vision is dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For interviews contact: Chelsea MacLachlan - 647 447 4334 or chelsea_maclachlan@worldvision.ca


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