In some parts of drought-stricken Somalia, one child in 10 is at risk of starving to death, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In a recent report, ICRC stated that the number is twice as high as it was in March.
Malnutrition rates are believed to be significantly higher in several other areas of the country, where relief organizations have not been allowed to operate.
Child malnutrition levels in the Horn of Africa are now the highest in the world. Even in traditionally food-producing parts of Somalia, nearly 11 percent of children younger than 5 have severe acute malnutrition.
Additional feeding centers are being set up by the Somali Red Crescent (an ICRC affiliate), but relief workers are struggling to keep up with the exodus of hungry refugees. Adults who arrive in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, where border camps are swelling, report that children have died en route. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there are 11 million people in the Horn of Africa affected by the worst drought in decades.