Somalia is stuck in an erratic cycle of floods, drought, decades-long conflict, disease outbreaks, and inadequate humanitarian response that has taken a heavy toll on people who barely have time to recover from one crisis before another hits. Many lost their livelihoods when their crops failed and livestock died, making it harder for families to purchase food. There are few options for people to provide for themselves or their families in their communities. Many describe a state of desperation—not knowing where they will get what they need to survive and relying solely on humanitarian assistance that can be unreliable.
MSF teams are treating approximately 500 malnourished children each week in the region. The cases we’re seeing have also been exacerbated by deadly infectious diseases such as measles. Rates of the disease are increasing dramatically as people find refuge in overcrowded living conditions. In hundreds of informal makeshift shelters and sites all over the city, poor water and sanitation services are also contributing to the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera. These outbreaks are spurring a vicious cycle, increasing the risk of malnutrition.
Here are five facts about displacement, drought, malnutrition, and disease outbreaks in Baidoa.