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From Goats to Grade 1

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Sheikh

I first met eleven-year-old Mariam Abdulahi at Waranley village while she was looking after her family’s herd of goats. She told me she had never been to school, but her dream was to be a student. She said if a school was set up in her village she would stop herding goats and join immediately.

Several months passed and the terrible drought forced thousands to leave their homes. I returned to the village on a routine trip, but I assumed that Mariam – like so many others – had been forced to leave the village with her family in search of food and water.

No end in sight to Somalia’s drought-crisis

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Holt

As the prolonged drought in Somalia continues to cause widespread suffering, illness and death, nutrition programmes supported by UNICEF and partners have successfully treated over 130,000 children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition.

The drought has left thousands of children weak due to lack of food and susceptible to the fast-spreading waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and vomiting, which drain the body of nutrients and can lead to dehydration and severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

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