Starving to death: Somalia’s worst drought in decades raises fears of famine

Children and cattle are dying while hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the drought, posing a huge challenge for a government short on cash and solutions, reports Fred Harter in Jubaland

Sunday 20 March 2022 09:42 GMT
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Juhara fears for her unborn baby and her 3 surviving children after her daughter died from malnutrition
Juhara fears for her unborn baby and her 3 surviving children after her daughter died from malnutrition (Fred Harter)

On the far edge of a camp for displaced people in southern Somalia, a small grave has been dug into a patch of dusty ground. It is for four-year-old Ubah Ali, whose frail body lies a few feet away, wrapped in an orange and blue sleeping mat.

The day before, Ubah’s pregnant mother, Juhara, had taken her to a mobile health clinic on the camp. The girl had been sick for two months, so wasted by malnutrition that she could not eat solid food without vomiting.

The doctors’ visit came too late. That night, Ubah had a severe bout of diarrhoea. By morning she had stopped breathing.

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