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This year’s holy month of Ramadan coincides with the Longest drought on record in Somalia. As the sun sets and Muslims around the world gather to break their daily fasts with generous dinners amidst drought.

Mohamed is among more than 1 million Somalis who have fled their homes in search of help while an estimated 43,000 people died last year. She, her husband and their six children now take refuge in one of the growing displacement camps around the capital, Mogadishu.

Mohamed and her family rely on well-wishers to provide their single meal a day. First, they break their fast with water and pieces of dates, then spoons of rice.

There was an increase in food prices due to Ramadan and for a country already struggling with inflation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the withering of local crops by five consecutive failed rainy seasons. Millions of livestock that are central to people’s diets have died.

Finally, they eat the donated meal of rice cooked with mixed meat, bruised banana and a small plastic bag of juice, which Mohamed waits in line for hours under the searing sun to obtain.

“I recall the Ramadan fast we had in the past when we were enjoying and prospering,” she said. “We would milk our goats, cook the ugali (maize porridge) and collard greens and drink water from our catchment. However, this year we are living in a camp, without plastic to cover us from rain, without food to eat, thirsty and experiencing drought. We have this small hot meal, but do you think that this can feed a family of six children, plus a mother and father? That is not possible.”  Said Mohammed.  

World. Somalia / Zainab .Y. Hamza

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