The United Nations children’s agency says the number of malnourished children is rising in Somalia as the country deals with a major drought and nears famine.
By the end of the year, more than 1.4 million children are expected to suffer acute malnourishment and about 275,000 of those children could easily die.
UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says malnourishment could leave the children more susceptible to disease, and dehydrated children can die in just hours from diarrhea or cholera.
She said, “The combination of malnutrition and disease, plus displacement is deadly for children.”
Somalia is at serious risk of famine, which would be the country’s third in 25 years.
At least 260,000 people died during a 2011 famine in Somalia, the vast majority of which were women and children.