from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – MORE than 260 000 children, aged under five, have reportedly died from extreme hunger or related diseases in East Africa this year.
Save the Children disclosed the deaths, based on data compiled by the United Nations.
It evaluated mortality rates for untreated cases of severe acute malnutrition in children under five across eight countries in East Africa.
Using a conservative estimate, the humanitarian aid agency discovered that about 262 500 acutely malnourished children may have died between January and November 2021.
Among countries mentioned in the report are Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan.
“We are devastated that some 260,000 children across East Africa may have died of hunger since the start of 2021,” said Kijala Shako, Save the Children Director of Advocacy, Communications, Campaigns and Media for East and Southern Africa.
“In a year that saw the COVID-19 pandemic continue to wreck lives and economies, and conflict kill and displace thousands of families, it has been the impacts of the climate crisis that have ultimately taken the highest toll on children.”
East Africa, with a population of 461,6 million, is currently experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change.
Concurrent emergencies like drought and floods across the region lead to mass displacement and severe hunger.
Health centre admissions of children suffering acute malnutrition have risen dramatically in 2021, with a 16 percent increase in the first half of this year.
Globally, malnutrition is linked to nearly half of all under-five deaths.
– CAJ News