Somali children 'malnourished'24th February 2009
An early warning report has said that one in six Somali children is acutely malnourished.
Ongoing conflict and hyperinflation mean that staple foods remain out of reach for many in Somalia.
The report, based on study conducted between the months of October and December of last year, says that the country's crops have suffered a drought.
During the past year in urban areas, the price of imported rice and local cereal grains has increased by 230% and 350% respectively.
These price increases are significantly greater than global price increases, at 450% to 780% above average.
In urban areas, the food crisis affects roughly 705,000 people - 565,000 of whom require emergency support, and 140,000 of whom also require life-saving assistance.
Children in the regions of lower and middle Shabelle bear the strongest signs of starvation, and less so in the region of central Somalia.
Overall, nearly 3.2 million Somalis, some 43%, were in need of emergency assistance.
In the countryside, 650,000 people are in need of emergency life-saving assistance, and nearly 565,000 require more moderate help.
The report states that the severity and depth of the rural crisis is greatest in the Galgadud, Mudug, Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, where 50-70% of the total rural population is in crisis, requiring assistance to stay alive.
The joint report was published by the Food Security Analysis Unit for Somalia (FAO/FSAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net).
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