Stronger Than Starvation - Hunger

Mother holding her baby smiling.

Halimo fixed her gaze on the sky in prayer for rain that hadn’t fallen for months. Years of conflict and the drought created a very fragile state in Somalia. Anxiously, she checked 2-year-old Yareeyo’s fever, whose cough continued to persist for weeks on end. Her family was out of options. In this part of the country, there is no clinic or ambulance. There’s barely a road. Mother holding her baby smiling.

“The drought was killing our livestock. With no income and not enough food, my daughter’s condition was getting worse,” Halimo said.

Desperate for a solution, she found an emergency program run by a CFC-supported organization, one of the only humanitarian groups braving this dangerous terrain. However, reaching the program in El Barde meant days of travel, which would require Halimo to make the trek by foot, carrying her daughter who was too weak to walk.

Just to fund the journey, the family sold two goats, which left them even more vulnerable. Determined to save her baby, Halimo embarked on the day-long trek.

“I thought I was going to lose my child,” she said.

When they reached the CFC-supported organization stabilization center, Yareeyo was quickly admitted for inpatient care. Following three days of tube-feeding and antibiotics, Yareeyo’s health began to improve. She smiled at her mom. In a week’s time her health stabilized enough to be discharged and referred to the organization’s outpatient program. Furthermore, Halimo left with an inexpensive new tool to monitor her other children for early signs of risk.

She is just one of the Somalian families who struggle with starvation as it a problem more common than the flu, and far deadlier. Thankfully, it’s treatable. When mothers such as Halimo can access the adequate care, their families thrive.