Food insecurity and famine

Pre-famine situation in Somalia and its impact in the Horn of Africa region

24 May 2017 - The international community and the Somali federal government have both raised a red flag over the drought and pre-famine situation that has affected half of the country’s population. The drought has resulted in food insecurity, which has led to large scale malnutrition that has directly affected the health of the population. During the past 43 years Somalia has experienced three famines of comparable intensity.

EPA

WHO calls for immediate action to save lives in Somalia

11 May 2017 - WHO is concerned by the chronic shortage of funding for life-saving work in Somalia in response to the ongoing drought that has plunged the country further towards famine, disease, and health insecurity. Drought in Somalia led to the destruction of crops and livestock, leaving more than 3.3 million people hungry every day. If the current situation continues, famine could soon be a reality, creating a devastating cycle of hunger and disease as the health of people deteriorates and they become more susceptible to infection.

EPA

WHO Nigeria deploys personnel to combat maningitis outbreak in Sokoto

3 May 2017 – WHO in Nigeria has deployed 190 Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) personnel to support Sokoto state government in controlling the outbreak of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis. Response to the outbreak includes a reactive vaccination campaign that targets 740,000 people in the affected areas.

WHO

Somalia launches second cholera vaccination campaign in Baidoa

3 May 2017 – WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health of Somalia launched the first round of a preventative oral cholera vaccination campaign (OCV) today in Baidoa at the Baidoa Regional Hospital, targeting 224 000 persons aged 1 year and older.

More than 20 million people are facing crisis

27 April 2017 - More than 20 million people are facing crisis or emergency food insecurity levels. Famine is occurring in parts of Unity State in South Sudan, while the majority of the country faces food crisis. Large areas of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya are currently experiencing food insecurity crisis levels, with some areas of Somalia at already at emergency levels.

WHO

Better access to health services for rural communities in South Sudan

3 April 2017 - WHO is supporting the Republic of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health and partners to roll-out a new approach to community health service delivery called the Boma Health Initiative. WHO State of health in South Sudan 27 March 2017 - Ongoing conflict in South Sudan aggravates an already fragile socio-economic situation, affecting the overall health and livelihood situation further increasing the risk for communicable disease outbreaks and malnutrition. Humanitarian needs increased significantly over 2016. This was compounded in 2017 by the declaration of famine in Unity State, where 100 000 people face starvation and another 1 million are on the brink of famine. Read the full news story More about famine WHO

WHO

fact buffet

People affected

>20 millionPeople facing crisis or severe food insecurity in the Horn of Africa

Famine and health

Vaccines delivered

>4 000 000Number of cholera vaccine doses sent to affected countries through the International Coordinating Group in 2016-2017

ICG on vaccine provision for cholera

Funding needed

US$ 126 millionHealth sector funding requirements this year for Yemen alone

WHO Humanitarian Response Plans 2017


Diseases in famine

When there is severe lack of food, people suffer from starvation, which weakens immune system. The body becomes more susceptible to diseases that can be fatal if left untreated.

Acute malnutrition

Acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies can be widespread among refugees and displaced people.

Cholera and diarrhoeal diseases

Common in settings where the basic environmental infrastructures have been damaged or destroyed.

Malaria

Caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bite of infected female mosquito.

Measles

Outbreaks can result in epidemics that cause many deaths, especially among malnourished children.

Pneumonia

Children whose immune systems have been weakened are at higher risk of developing pneumonia


Country information

Eight countries in the Greater Horn of Africa are in grave food security situation, with famine declared in parts of South Sudan. Very high levels of malnutrition, cholera, and acute watery diarrhoea have been reported from some of the countries.