The record drought in the Horn of Africa could cause between January and June 135 deaths per day in Somalia, say the Somali Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and the UN agency Unicef in a study published on Monday .
The WHO had previously warned that nearly 100,000 people in Somalia were facing catastrophic levels of hunger due to the worst drought to hit the region in 40 years.
According to the study released on Monday, between 18,100 and 34,200 people could die from the consequences of the drought in Somalia in the first six months of this year.
Extreme weather conditions could have caused 43,000 "
" last year compared to the drought of 2017, adds the study which specifies that half of the victims would be children under five years old.
Race against time
This document was commissioned by the UN children's agency Unicef and WHO and produced by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London.
We are in a race against time to prevent deaths and save lives
,” said Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative in Somalia.
The cost of our inaction would mean the death of children, women and other vulnerable people
Five consecutive rainy seasons marked by severe water scarcity in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have killed millions of livestock, destroyed crops and forced more than a million people to leave their homes in search of food and water.
Meteorologists expect a sixth rainy season to also be sorely lacking in water, heightening fears of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe on the horizon, particularly in Somalia.
This country was already hit by a famine in 2011 that killed 260,000 people, more than half of whom were children under the age of six, in part because the international community did not react quickly enough, according to the UN .
In 2017, more than six million people in Somalia, more than half of whom were children, needed assistance due to a prolonged drought in East Africa.
But early humanitarian action averted a famine that year.