29 000 Somalis under age 5 dead

2011-08-04 22:20

Nairobi - The drought and famine in Somalia have killed more than 29 000 children under the age of 5, according to US estimates, the first time such a precise death toll has been released related to the Horn of Africa crisis.

The United Nations has said previously that tens of thousands of people have died in the drought, the worst in Somalia in 60 years. The UN says 640 000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, a statistic that suggests the death toll of small children will rise.

Nancy Lindborg, an official with the US government aid arm, told a congressional committee in Washington on Wednesday that the US estimates that more than 29 000 children under the age of 5 have died in the last 90 days in southern Somalia. That number is based on nutrition and mortality surveys verified by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The UN on Wednesday declared three new regions in Somalia famine zones, bringing the total number to five. Out of a population of roughly 7.5 million, the UN says 3.2 million Somalis are in need of immediate lifesaving assistance.

Getting aid to Somalia has been made more difficult because al-Qaeda linked militants control much of the country's most desperate areas. Al-Shabaab has denied that a famine is taking place, and won't give access to the World Food Programme, the world's biggest provider of food aid.

Tens of thousands of refugees have fled south-central Somalia in hopes of finding food at camps in Ethiopia, Kenya and in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been donated to fight the hunger crisis, but the UN says it needs hundreds of millions more.

  • NZdreamer - 2011-08-04 23:27

    Feel sick to my gut! This is way too much to handle! My heart aches, especially for those little children who have been handed this fate! A massive lesson on wasting...we all do it at some stage.

      rudolphpr - 2011-08-05 07:51

      I agree, this is nothing to do with breed and feed - it is about nature changing and ignorant people in the world abusing human rights. It is time that the world leaders kick these UN-human rulers and gangsters out for good - no child needs to suffer in such a way that death prevails.

  • Kingsley Paul - 2011-08-05 00:28

    Too bad....

  • Anton - 2011-08-05 06:09

    And than all some can say; "its nature's way with dealing with over population" One day , nature will deal with them too !!

      Marcell - 2011-08-05 06:41

      Don't breed what you can't feed! Common sense.

      Anton - 2011-08-05 07:11

      What is common sense, it that you are RACISTS. For the ones who are starving, to be called ANIMALS, is sickening. As it are animals who breed, not human beings !! Your comments make me puke !!

      Marcell - 2011-08-05 08:50

      If it will make you grasp the magnitude of the real problem here it is in nice english Don't have more babies that can be fed and cared by you the parent. The abililty to have babies come with a responsibility for those parents. Life is tough and to take responsibility for one's actions is tougher. If you're not prepared for the responsibility stop having babies. Quite simple principle.

      Marcell - 2011-08-05 08:54

      One more thing. You can puke because you had something to eat. It is not a racial issue.

      Anton - 2011-08-05 09:27

      Marcell, Re; your 08.50 comment; Now, That is a lot better. thank you. re; your 08.54 comment; "It is not a racial issue" That is exactly my point

  • MrDC - 2011-08-05 06:50

    Stop breeding.....Nuff said.

  • Lewsi - 2011-08-05 06:58

    Its nature's way of dealing with over-population. These deaths wont halt the breeding process of course. They'll continue to breed. And nature will continue to take.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-08-05 08:35

      vultures need to eat too

  • Slo0th - 2011-08-05 07:43

    Somalia has been recieving aid for over two decades. While it is sad that children are dying, it has to be remembered that Somalia: a) is an Islamic country with no government b) has been in conflict for over 20 years c) has refused certain aid agencies into the country One must also remember that any aid sent to any country via big organisations such as the red cross is only a fraction of what was actually donated. For instance: for every British Pound donated to the Red Cross, only 20p ever makes it to the donor country. This due to overheads, admin, paying fat-cat wages and the like. As is typical of a number of African countries recieving aid, the warring factions take a large proportion of the funds to support their weapons arsenal. There are few if any development schemes (like getting drinking water, planting crops, etc) in place due to the conflict. What should happen is that the world should realise that Africa is a black hole (no pun intended) and that having poured billions (if not trillions) into Africa for the past 20 years has not achieved anything at all. Let nature take its course. Let the aid dry up, then see where the warring factions get their armanents. Just maybe, maybe, things will get better. Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him to fish and he will eat everyday.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-08-05 08:36

      slooth no give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he quits his job and drinks beer with his mates down by the river haha

  • Zee - 2011-08-05 07:43

    Almost seven times the number of people that were killed on 9/11.. the comments here are truly sick. These were helpless children you psychotic rednecks. Signs of a seriously deteriorating society.

      BernieK - 2011-08-05 08:12

      Ag shame. Get on a plane and go help there if you feel like it! Don't count me in. I am sick and tired of African countries begging for help when they themsleves are the one's creating their own crisis! Nope, let Somalia sink. Let them understand what life is about. Sorry, no help from me this time.

      Anton - 2011-08-05 09:30

      BernieK, I don't think these 29000 (TWENTY NINE THOUSAND) brought it on to themselves, TO DIE

  • BernieK - 2011-08-05 08:08

    Let themuslims all over the world sort this mess out. The stupidy of that nation is beyond me. They kill each other, the hate the west and now out comes the begging bowl again. Nope, this time someone else can assist. Where is China, India or the 2000 million muslims the world over. Let them assist this country. Leave the west out of this. The western countries are always the bad one in the story, the so called big evil should not assist now. They've made their calls in the past, solet them live with it. Somalia is not my problem now. Sorry.

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