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More than 3.3 million people in Somalia had to be without food every day due the destruction of crops and livestock ravaged by drought, WHO reports said.
It was feared that prevalence of current situation would lead to famine, hunger and disease making people more susceptible to infection.
Drought had resulted in lack of clean water in Somalia which had been hit by the largest outbreak of cholera in the last 5 years, with more than 36 000 cases and almost 690 deaths so far in 2017 alone.
As rainy season and floods approach this month, these numbers are expected to increase to 50 000 cases by the end of June. Cases of measles are also on the rise, with nearly 6 500 cases reported this year, 71% of them children under the age of 5 years.
"History has shown the terrible consequences of inaction, or action that comes too late. More than a quarter of a million lives – half of them children – were lost as a result of the devastating famine of 2011. This year, a much larger percentage of the population is now at risk.
We will not stand by and watch millions of already vulnerable men, women, and children become victims of an avoidable catastrophe," said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO Executive Director for Emergencies.
WHO had been urgently appealing for additional support from the international community to expand relief efforts in alleviating the suffering of millions of Somalians as well as to save their lives.
In spite of the challenging operating operating environment in Somalia, and due to the restriction of humanitarian access as a result of ongoing conflict and violence in many parts of the country, WHO and health partners continue to increase up their response, with coordination hubs established in Mogadishu, Garowe, Hargeisa and Baidoa.
In March, the first national oral cholera vaccination campaign in Somalia was conducted by WHO and partners, reaching over 450 000 vulnerable people, and 463 000 more vulnerable people would be targeted in the ongoing second campaign in SW State and Middle Shebelle.