110 starve to death in 2 days in drought-ravaged Somalia

The U.N. estimates five million people need aid, amid warnings of a full-blown starvation.

Khaire said the deaths occurred in Bay region amid severe drought across the county, while assuring that the government would give it first priority to respond such crisis. "In the last 48 hours 110 people died due to [hunger] and diarrhea in Bay region", the Prime Minister's statement said. All are connected by a thread of violent conflict, the United Nations chief said.

Capital city Mogadishu is bearing the brunt of the catastrophe as thousands of people have flocked here to find food.

Earlier in the week it said that severe drought amounted to a national disaster.

Somalia was one of four regions singled out by the United Nations secretary-general last month in a $4.4 billion aid appeal to avert catastrophic hunger and starvation, along with northeast Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.

Displaced Somali girls who fled the drought in southern Somalia stand in a queue to receive food handouts at a feeding center in a camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 25, 2017.

The government has meanwhile said the widespread hunger "makes people vulnerable to exploitation, human rights abuses and to criminal and terrorist networks".

The NGO claimed that while 12 million people in the area were likely to be affected - with 50,000 children alone facing death - the nation was in danger of being forgotten due to donors being pulled in too many different directions.

Somalia's newly elected Somali-American leader, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has appealed to the worldwide community and Somalis all over the world for help.

A local government official said, cholera outbreak has killed at least 69 since yesterday and more than 70 others have been hospitalised. There are reports of some deaths from cholera already, according to AP.

More than a quarter of a million people died; more than half were children under the age of 5.

  • Jon Douglas