“Hundreds of thousands of Somalis face life-threatening food and water shortages.” The situation is the result of 20 years of armed conflict compounded by severe drought. The effects of previous dry spells, high inflation and the worldwide rise in food and fuel prices have further aggravated the long-standing crisis since the beginning of the year.
The head of the U.N. refugee agency said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the “worst humanitarian disaster” in the world after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world’s largest refugee camp.
Faduma Sakow Abdullahi and her five children tried to escape starvation in Somalia by journeying to a Kenyan refugee camp. Only one day before they reached their destination, her 4-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son died of exhaustion and hunger.
Abdi Aden, a former farmer who lived in Sakow town before the drought forced him to flee, said he lost an 8-year-old son after eight days of trekking.
“He tried to cry before he died, but he could not. He was so weak. He died peacefully from hunger,” he said. “I buried him by myself in a shallow ditch so hyenas could not eat him.”
On her way to Dadaab, Abdullahi said she walked with friends for three days before she and her children lagged behind. She saw around 20 children dead or unconscious abandoned on the roadside.
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