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Famine is “at the door” in parts of Somalia, the UN’s humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, warned on Monday.
During a press conference in the capital, Mogadishu, he said he had concrete indications famine would occur in parts of south-central Somalia between October and December.
This comes after his visit to Baidoa in South-West state in Somalia – the area of the country worst-affected by the current drought ravaging East Africa.
After four failed rainy seasons, the city has seen an influx of people who have lost everything because of the on-going drought, which aid agencies estimate has caused the displacement of more than one million people and is the Horn of Africa’s worst in 40 years.
People in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are struggling to put food on the table, as the UN World Food Programme has estimated that 22 million people in the region are at risk of severe hunger.
The causes of this crisis are complex and show no signs of getting better.
Climate change has been a key concern, while conflicts in Ethiopia and Somalia, along with the rise in food prices caused by the war in Ukraine, have only made matters worse.