For aid workers, seven-month-old Minhaj Gedi Farah’s recovery from malnutrition is a beacon of hope in famine-hit Somalia.
Minhaj gained back his health after weeks of intensive feeding of Plumpy’nut, a kind of sweetened peanut butter packed with nutrients. Today, he weighs 8 kilograms and can crawl and sit without support.
Sirat Amin, a nurse-nutritionist with the International Rescue Committee who kept track of Minhaj’s progress, said seeing children like Minhaj recover gives him the strength to go on.
“The famine is not over … Children are dying on a daily basis,” said Hannan Sulieman, UNICEF’s deputy representative for the Somalia mission. “Malnutrition has been way above emergency levels for over 10 years.”
The United Nations has only received $779 million of its $1 billion appeal for the Somalia famine. Moreover, recent heavy rain, cross-border fighting and the militant group al-Shabab have prevented aid workers from providing food assistance to those who are starving.
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