Somalia says 110 dead in last 48 hours due to drought

MOGADISHU, March 4 (Reuters) - Some 110 people have died in southern Somalia in the last two days from famine and diarrhea resulting from a drought, the prime minister said on Saturday, as the area braces itself for widespread shortages of food.

In February, United Nations children's agency UNICEF said the drought in Somalia could lead to up to 270,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition this year.

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Somalia drought and famine crisis
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Somalia drought and famine crisis

Abdullahi Mohamud, 5, cries next to his mother Sahro Mohamed Mumin, 30, and brother, Abdulrahman Mahamud, 2, as a nurse struggles to find a vein for an injection at a government run health clinic on February 25, 2017 in Shada, Somalia. Abdullahi was diagnosed with bronchitis, Abdulrahman with pneumonia. Both children were also suffering from severe malnutrition.The family lost all of their animals due to drought and had traveled 150 kilometers in search of a better situation. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

People and livestock gather at a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Fatun Mohamed Sareye, 30, sits at her home with her family at the Shabelle IDP (internally displaced people) camp on February 26, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Sareye lost both her husband and her sister in a water born illness in the had killed a reported 20 people in the past two weeks. She now is charged with taking care of 11 children, seven of her own and four of his sisters. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A young boy suffering from malnutrition lies in a bed inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A dead cow sits just outside an IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp on February 24, 2017 in Karin Sarmayo, Somalia. Brief rains brought an estimated 100,000 people to the region in search of land for their livestock, but very limited pasture has lead to mass animal deaths and a growing number of IDP camps. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Goats eat from the trash in a dried riverbed on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Abdullahi Mohamud, 5, cries next to his mother Sahro Mohamed Mumin, 30, and brother, Abdulrahman Mahamud, 2, as a nurse struggles to find a vein for an injection at a government run health clinic on February 25, 2017 in Shada, Somalia. Abdullahi was diagnosed with bronchitis, Abdulrahman with pneumonia. Both children were also suffering from severe malnutrition.The family lost all of their animals due to drought and had traveled 150 kilometers in search of a better situation. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Boys look out over a dried riverbed on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A young girl suffering from malnutrition lies in a bed inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A man draws water from a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Fardowsa Abdullahi is measured at a government run health clinic on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. The two-year-old girl weighed 6.5 kilograms and was suffering from severe malnutrition. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Women and children sit inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Medical staff treat a child suffering from malnutrition at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Women and children sit inside the malnutrition ward at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Boys watch as water is pumped from a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Medical staff treat a child suffering from malnutrition at Garowe General Hospital on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Boys play football in an empty lot on February 27, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Sahro Mohamed Mumin, 30, looks at her son Abdulrahman Mahamud, 2, who was diagnosed with pneumonia and severe malnutrition, at a government run health clinic on February 25, 2017 in Shada, Somalia. Mumin's family lost all of their animals due to drought and had traveled 150 kilometers in search of a better situation. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Recently dug graves sit at the edges of a cemetery at the Shabelle IDP (internally displaced people) camp on February 26, 2017 in Garowe, Somalia. The camp had seen an reported 20 deaths from a water born illness in the past two weeks. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A doctor checks on a young girl at a government run clinic inside an IDP (Internally Displaced People) camp on February 24, 2017 in Karin Sarmayo, Somalia. Brief rains brought an estimated 100,000 people to the region in search of land for their livestock, but very limited pasture has lead to mass animal deaths and a growing number of IDP camps. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

People and livestock gather at a nearly dried up riverbed on February 24, 2017 in Dhudo, Somalia. People travel up to 75 kilometers to get water, as it is one of the only sources left in the region. Somalia is currently on the brink of famine with over half of the country's population facing acute food insecurity according to the United Nations. The intensifying crisis has humanitarian groups racing to stop a repeat of 2011, in which 260,000 people died of famine throughout country.

(Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

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"It is a difficult situation for the pastoralists and their livestock. Some people have been hit by famine and diarrhea at the same time. In the last 48 hours 110 people died due to famine and diarrhea in Bay region," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire's office said in a statement released after a meeting of a famine response committee.

In 2011, some 260,000 people starved to death due to famine in Somalia.

The country also continues to be rocked by security problems, with the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government coming under regular attack from al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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