Photos: Aid-starved Somalia in shadow of Ukraine crisis | In pictures News

In one hospital in Somalia alone, more than two dozen children have died of starvation in the past two months alone.

Dr Yahye Abdi Garun has seen emaciated relatives arrive from rural areas plagued by the driest drought in the Horn of Africa region in decades. And yet, no humanitarian aid arrives.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, a donor who was about to donate $500,000 to a Somali aid group told its executive director Hussein Kulmiye that he was redirecting the money to help Ukrainians instead.

The war in Ukraine has abruptly diverted millions of dollars from other crises, say more social workers. Somalia, facing food shortages largely due to war, may be the most vulnerable.

The $2.2 billion appeal for Ukraine is nearly 80% funded, according to UN data, an “exceptional” level for any mid-year crisis, Angus Urquhart says , humanitarian and crisis manager for the consulting firm Development Initiatives. The smaller appeal for Somalia is only 30% funded.

And now, as Somalis flee drought and fill more than 500 camps in the town of Baidoa, aid workers are making ‘horrendous’ choices to help one camp and ignore 10 others, the Norwegian Council’s general secretary has said. refugees, Jan Egeland, at The Associated Press. he is “angry and ashamed”.

Its aid funding is less than half of last year’s level, even though Western donors have sent more than $1.7 billion to respond to the war in Europe. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Palestinian territories are also affected.

His group’s appeal for Ukraine was fully funded within 48 hours, but the appeal for Somalia saw about a quarter of the funds needed.

This year’s global shift of money and attention is perhaps most urgent in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia and Kenya, where parts of it could be declared famine within weeks. .

The United States Agency for International Development says regional authorities have not seen anything of this magnitude in more than 100 years. Millions of cattle, the source of wealth and nutrition for families, died.

The White House acknowledged the problem in a June 28 statement on global food security, saying that “while the entire world will continue to be affected by Russia’s actions, the most immediate needs will arise in the Horn of Africa,” where Somalia once sourced 90 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine, but is now struggling to get supplies in the face of soaring prices.

Christi C. Elwood