• World

Somalia on the Verge of Famine As U.N. Pleads for Help

1 minute read

The U.N. is warning that Somalia, which is struggling with severe drought after two seasons of weak rainfall, could face a return to famine in April without a “massive” increase in global aid:


The looming crisis threatens to be even bigger than a 2011 famine that killed an estimated 260,000 people. Three-quarters of the country’s livestock have already died, numerous open-water sources have dried up, and cereal production has fallen by 75%.


Mindful that funding from the international community came in 2011 only after 13 famine warnings had been ignored, the U.N. made an urgent call on Feb. 2 for donors to give at least $300 million to ease the crisis.


There are fears that al-Shabab militants will divert or hold up aid and newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed will be unable to ease its passage in a country that lacks a functioning government. The real test, however, is whether fatigued Western nations react fast enough or wait until the numbers of the dead can no longer be ignored.


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com