UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 21 (UPI) — Five million residents of Somalia, more than 40 percent of the population, do not have sufficient food, a United Nations assessment says.
A report by the U.N. Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs released Tuesday indicates more than 300,000 children under the age of 5 are acutely malnourished in Somalia, including 50,000 regarded as severely malnourished.
The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, agencies managed by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, said more than 1.1 million people cannot meet their daily food requirements, while another 3.9 million Somalis require livelihood support to reduce the risk of sliding into crisis.
“Humanitarian partners are ready to scale up response to help families struggling to find food to make it through the day,” said Peter de Clercq, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia. “The Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016 is 32 percent funded and additional resources are urgently required to boost response and ongoing efforts to sustainably address malnutrition and access to food, including support to comprehensive durable solutions.”
Long a country mired in poverty, Somalia currently deals with the militant Islamist group al-Shabab’s attempts to overtake the government. Statistics from the Somali Central Bank indicate about 43 percent of the population lives on less than one U.S. dollar per day