Milgo stands with her four children in front of a sheep that succombed to the effects of the drought ravaging Somaliland. She and her family have settled outside the town of Kiridh in order to be closer to potential sources of help. As her livestock continue to die off her children are showing classic signs of malnutrition - lost weight and weakened immune systems. "We had over one hundred livestock and we are left with around twenty, but hey are still dying around here," says Milgo. "Right now we need everything. We need food, we need water, we need supplies for our house My children are sick, they all have colds and they are constantly coughing. We're only able to feed them one meal of boiled rice each day. I feel hopeless seeing my children in this desperate situation." Over 2.9 million people need emergency food assistance in Somalia. An estimated 363,000 children are already suffering from malnutrition in Somalia, 71,000 are severe cases. Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa. If we don’t act now it will get much worse. Drought and conflict have left 16 million people on the brink of starvation and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. DEC member charities are already delivering life-saving assistance in all affected countries. But, they need more help to reduce the scale and severity of the crisis. 

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Haali Noor left the drought-effected area in the east of Somaliland with her five children and a small number of remaining livestock and settled in the western area of near Dilla, Somaliland in hopes of finding help from the local community there. Her one year old daughter Amina*, seated on her lap, has been diagnosed as suffering from moderate malnutrition by Save the Children's health outreach team. "We used to have two hundred livestock," says Haali, but the lack of water and pasture caused one hundred and fifty of them to die. The remaining fifty are so weak and skinny that they no longer have any value - we can't even sell them. To survive, we are purchasing food from local shops on credit, with the promise that we will pay them back when our animals are in a better condition." 

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After most of her livestock died, Shukri came with two of her three children to the city of Burao, Somaliland and settled in the areas surrounding the local airport in hopes that her few surviving sheep could find pasture. "We came here hoping to feed our livestock," she says, "But the grass was finished and our livestock died. Now we have to remain here. We have nothing left. I hope that people from the local community and those living abroad can help us somehow."  

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Mother of six Fardus came with her children to the live in an informal settlment in the city of Ainabo, Somaliland after they lost all of their livestock. "After our livestock died we were left with nothing to eat," she says. "we have no food, no water, and no proper shelter. We have nothing. I came here so that my children might have something to eat." Many pastoralists like Fardus are abandoning their nomadic life as herders and making their way to small urban centers in hopes of getting food aid from the local communities and international organizations.  

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Saado traveled from the drought-stricken eastern region of Somaliland after one hundred of her livestock died, and settled with her four children in the west of the country near the town of Dilla. Another hundred of her livestock died in this new location and they are now they are left with fifty sheep and goats - which are too weak to give milk or sell at the market. They are currently down to eating one meal of rice a day and her youngest daughter has been diagnosed with malnutrition by a recent health screening. "Our biggest need now is food," says Saado. "We need to get food so that my children can get stronger."  

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After her family lost most of their livestock to the ravages of the drought, Khadra Mohamed, pictured here with her twin sons, moved to an informal settlement outside the town of Yogoori, Somaliland. "We used to be pastoralists, and then the drought happened and we lost all but a few of our livestock, so we came here," says Khadra. "We have faced a lot. Everyone here who has lost their livestock has been through a lot. We have no homes, just these makeshift tents. Sometimes, after we've shouted for help, the water trucks will leave some water in the small pools dug in the ground around the camp. Some of the local shops have lent us food, and recently some organizations have been helping us. But it depends, we might get food, and we might not." 

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Mother Deeqa and her children find shade from the midday sun under a tree near their home in a rural area outside of Kiridh, Somaliland. Due to the drought her family has lost one hundred head of cattle, and their few surviving livestock are too weak to be of value. "The drought has put our family in a difficult situation," says Deeqa. "We don't have access to clean water and as a mother, I don't even have enough food to feed my children."

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Ubah moved to an informal settlement outside the town of Yogoori, Somaliland hoping that international organizations would help her and her two year old son, Osman*. "We lost all of our goats and most of our camels," she relates. "My husband has taken the surviving camels to market. When we lost our livestock our life became very harsh, so we came here hoping we will be registered by the aid organizations." Ubah has received an initial distribution of food aid but still struggles without a proper shelter and a lack of clean water. 

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Grandmother Amina stands with her daughter, Ayan*, in front of a makeshift shelter in an informal settlement outside the town of Yogoori, Somaliland where they came to live after losing all of their livestock to the drought. "Our family had several hundred livestock but only twenty have survived the drought," says Amina.  

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Mariam, in green, sits with her daughter Sahra* and Sahra's two children in a makeshift settlement on the outskirts of the city of Burao. "We came here with one hundred and twenty livestock and now we only have twenty nine sheep and six goats," she says. Mariam's grandson from another daughter recently died after suffering from diarrhea and she has another grandson who is now in hospital in Burao.  

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