Approximately 43,000 people died in Somalia last year — about half of whom were children under 5 years old — as the region endured its sixth straight failed rainy season. As many as 34,000 more people are expected to die in the first six months of this year. The deaths are caused mostly by outright starvation, in addition to malnutrition combined with diseases like cholera.
Droughts, like the one currently parching the Horn of Africa and are made worse and more frequent by climate change. The current, dire food shortage caused by that drought is exacerbated by disruptions to global food supplies set off by the Russian war in Ukraine. “From the very beginning of this drought, the W.H.O. has clearly stated that the drought is a health crisis as much as it is a food and climate crisis,” Dr. Mamunur Rahman Malik, the Somalia representative for the World Health Organization, said in a statement.
Somalia, responsible for a negligible amount of global climate pollution and among the most vulnerable to climate-fueled disasters, is essentially shut out from international climate assistance because it has no fossil fuels to burn. (AP, New York Times $, Al Jazeera, Axios, PBS NewsHour, Wall Street Journal $, BBC, CBS, Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Drought)