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More than half a million children in Somalia expected to face deadliest form of malnutrition by April

MOGADISHU, 13 December 2022 – More than half a million children in Somalia are expected to face the most deadly form of malnutrition within four months  because of drought, rising food prices, conflict and disease, according to new figures released today  (Tuesday).  Save the Children is calling for an urgent injection of international funds to prevent a repetition of the enormous loss of lives during a 2011 famine.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) figures for Somalia shows that half the population – or 8.3 million people – are expected to be in crisis levels of hunger (IPC3* and above) by April 2023  compared to 5.6 million currently.

This included 1.8 million children forecast to be suffering from severe malnutrition and 513,500 of those from severe acute malnutrition.

The number of people facing famine-like conditions is forecast to treble to 727,000 by next July without urgent intervention.

Dr Binyam Gebru, Deputy Country Director of Save the Children in Somalia, said:

For more than a year we have been warning of a disaster building in Somalia and the threat this is causing to the lives of millions of children. This is now one of the worst crises we’ve ever seen, with five consecutive failed rainy seasons putting food out of reach for millions of people. Today’s shocking new analysis by the IPC shows that unless we see funding for this emergency rapidly intensify, half the population will be acutely food insecure – they will only marginally be able to meet their minimum needs. There is no getting away from it: millions more children are facing malnutrition, life-changing illness, and death.

“This analysis also sees more pockets of Somalia plunge into famine. The country has not faced an emergency this critical since 2011 and yet where is the funding? What will it take to jolt the international community awake, so that they provide not just immediate funds to keep people alive today, but long-term solutions to tackle the hunger and climate crises that are killing children?”

Save the Children is calling on the UK Government to invest an additional £70 million to help treat one million severely malnourished children across the region, as well as taking the lead and working with world leaders to tackle the root causes of this crisis.


Dr Binyam Gebru is available for interview. For interview requests please contact:

Our media out of hours (BST) media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44 (0)7831 650409