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Fardosa Hussein / Action Against Hunger

Halimo fixed her gaze on the sky and prayed for rain that hadn’t come for months. She anxiously checked two-year-old Yareeyo’s fever. The child had been coughing for weeks, and the family was out of options.

Years of conflict and drought have left Somalia one of the world’s most fragile places. In this part of the country, there is no clinic or ambulance. There’s barely a road.

“The drought was killing our livestock. With no income and not enough food, my daughter’s condition was getting worse,” Halimo said.
Searching for a solution, she heard of an emergency program run by Action Against Hunger, one of the only humanitarian groups braving this dangerous terrain.

But the program was in El Barde, days away. Halimo would need to find the way on foot, carrying her daughter who was too weak to walk. To fund the journey, the family sold two goats, leaving them even more vulnerable.

Halimo walked for days, determined to save her baby. “I thought I was going to lose my child,” she said.

When they reached Action Against Hunger’s stabilization center, Yareeyo was quickly admitted for inpatient care. After three days of tube-feeding and antibiotics, Yareeyo began to improve. She smiled at her mom. In just a week, she was stable enough to be discharged and referred to Action Against Hunger’s outpatient program. Halimo left with an inexpensive new tool to monitor her kids for early signs of risk.

Somalia is one place where hunger can be far more common than the flu, and far deadlier. Thankfully, it’s also treatable, when moms like Halimo are armed with tools, information and the unshakable will to see their children thrive.

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