GENEVA / SOMALIA CHILDREN FAMINE RISK

13-Sep-2022 00:01:49
Catastrophic hunger levels in Somalia have left more than 513,000 children at risk of dying, 173,000 more than during the 2011 famine, UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SOMALIA CHILDREN FAMINE RISK
TRT: 1:49
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 SEPTEMBER 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Med shot, UN Geneva flag alley
2. Wide shot, panel of speakers, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, spokesperson, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):
“To be clear, there’s 386,000 - 386,000 children - six to 59 months, that’s increased to more than half a million, to 513,000, that’s a 33 percent increase. Said one more way, it means 127 thousand more children are at risk of death.”
4. Close up shot, screen showing speaker
5. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, spokesperson, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):
“Children are already dying, our partners report that some stabilization centres are, in fact, full, and critically-ill children are receiving treatment on the floor.”
6. Med shot, journalists, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, spokesperson, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):
“In the famine of 2011, the number was 340,000 children required treatment, today, it’s 513(000). So, we have more than half a million facing preventable death. It’s a number, it’s a pending nightmare we have not seen this century.”
8. Med shot, journalists taking notes
9. SOUNDBITE (English) James Elder, spokesperson, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF):
“This is not just about nutrition, severely malnourished children are, in fact, up to 11 times more likely to die from things like diarrhoea and measles than well-nourished boys and girls.”
10. Med shot, journalists taking notes
11. SOUNDBITE (English) El-Khidir Daloum, Somalia Representative and Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“We know that the deaths, half of the deaths of 2011, happened before the declaration of famine, so we know that.”
12. Med shot, journalists taking notes, screen showing speaker
13. SOUNDBITE (English) El-Khidir Daloum, Somalia Representative and Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP):
“As we speak right now, we are heading to 15 areas classified as hard-to-reach areas, and we are scaling up together with UNICEF the nutrition and the priority areas.”
14. Med shot, journalists taking notes
STORYLINE
Catastrophic hunger levels in Somalia have left more than 513,000 children at risk of dying, 173,000 more than during the 2011 famine, UN humanitarians warned on Tuesday (13 Sep).

In a call for immediate funding to help vulnerable communities hit by successive droughts, high food prices, and conflict, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stressed that the emergency shows no signs of letting up.

Without action, famine will occur within the next few weeks, FAO said.

The UN agency added that drought-related deaths “have been occurring,” and the toll could be much higher in hard-to-reach rural areas compared with the number recorded in camps for displaced families.

During the famine of 2011, 340,000 children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told journalists in Geneva.

“Today, it’s 513,000,” he added.

“So, we more than half a million facing preventable death. It’s a number, it’s a pending nightmare we have not seen this century.”

According to FAO, approximately 6.7 million people across Somalia will likely endure high levels of acute food insecurity between October and December this year (IPC Phase 3 or above).

This includes more than 300,000 who have been left “empty-handed” by the country’s triple emergency and who are expected to fall into famine (IPC Phase 5).

In a call for radical change to stop famine from happening again, UNICEF’s Elder described the disturbing scenes in Somalia’s worst-affected region.

“Children are already dying,” he said. “Our partners report that some stabilization centres are, in fact, full and critically-ill children are receiving treatment on the floor.”

With greater funding, more severe and acutely malnourished children can be given lifesaving food that will make them strong enough to ward off diseases, just like healthier youngsters.

“This is not just about nutrition, severely malnourished children are, in fact, up to 11 times more likely to die from things like diarrhoea and measles than well-nourished boys and girls,” Elder said, adding that both diseases “are spiking” in the worst-hit areas.

The UN’s response involves reaching the most vulnerable communities to prevent mass displacement before famine has been declared and to help to promote a faster recovery.

According to FAO, humanitarian assistance has been increasing and reached an average of 3.1 million people per month between April and June 2022 and 4.5 million people per month between July and September 2022.

“We know that the deaths, half of the deaths of 2011, happened before the declaration of famine,” said El-Khidir Daloum, WFP Somalia Representative and Country Director.

“As we speak right now, we are heading to 15 areas classified as hard-to-reach areas, and we are scaling up together with UNICEF the nutrition and the priority areas.”

In June, UNICEF reported that 386,000 children aged six to 59 months needed treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

“That’s increased (today) to more than half a million, to 513,000; that’s a 33 percent increase. Said one more way, it means 127 more thousand more children are at risk of death,” Elder said.
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