An increasing number of children are now at risk of death from severe malnutrition as famine has spread to three other areas of Somalia.

The new areas that have surpassed famine thresholds are the agropastoral areas of Balcad and Cadale districts of Middle Shabelle, the Afgoye corridor IDP settlement, and the Mogadishu IDP community.

UNICEF UK Deputy Executive Director Anita Tiessen says a more concentrated effort is needed to reach children in these areas but UNICEF’s emergency appeal is 70 per cent underfunded. UNICEF is the world's largest children's organisation.

In her statement, Tiessen says:

“ More than 250 children are dying from hunger each day in South Somalia. This news that these three new areas in Middle Shabelle, the Afgoye Corridor, and Moghadishu have gone into famine means that there are now more children in need than UNICEF has the funds to cater to.

“The clock is now ticking for these children and everything must be done to reach those in the worst affected regions as quickly as possible to prevent more children from dying.

“This is a children’s famine and I am appealing to members of the UK public to please give generously to our appeal.

“Of the £111 million that we need to help children over the next six months we have received only £34 million. There are more children in need than our current emergency budget can help. Just £20 will fund therapeutic feeding for a severely malnourished child and will allow that child to recuperate within a month.

“This is more than a food crisis- it is a crisis for child survival: In addition to lack of food and water, malnourished children are extremely susceptible to killer diseases, including measles, malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Malaria and measles epidemics are also expected when the rains come in October.”

To donate to UNICEF’s East Africa Appeal please go to www.unicef.org.uk, call 0800 037 9797, or text FAMINE to 70099 to make a £10 donation. UNICEF receives no funds from the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC).

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For further information please contact:
Terry Ally, UNICEF UK, Tel: 07714 721 701, terrya@unicef.org.uk, or call the UNICEF UK press office on 020 7375 6030


NOTE TO EDITOR

• The districts of Lower Shabelle and Bakool were declared under famine on 19 July
• 82% of all malnourished children are located in South Somalia
• UNICEF has been operating across Somalia since 1971.  We have never been banned and never stopped working in the South.  We are the largest supplier of therapeutic and supplementary nutrition in the country. Despite the challenges to a country torn apart by conflict, insecurity and poverty, UNICEF and its partners, is delivering for children.  In the South, we operate through a network of 70 non-government partners and deploy third party monitors to ensure that supplies reach children


About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk