Thursday, August 4, 2011

Somalia’s famine is spreading, UN warns


NAIROBI - The United Nations declared three new regions in Somalia famine zones yesterday, expanding the area where the highest rates of malnutrition and mortality are taking place, including the refugee camps in the capital of Mogadishu.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization said that famine is likely to spread across all regions of Somalia's south in the next four to six weeks and may persist until December.

In Somalia, 3.7 million people are in crisis, the UN said, out of a population of 7.5 million. The UN said 3.2 million need immediate, lifesaving assistance.

The UN said the prevalence of acute malnutrition and rates of crude mortality surpassed the famine thresholds in Middle Shabelle, the Afgoye corridor refugee settlement, and internally displaced communities in Mogadishu. The UN said last month that two other regions in Somalia were suffering from famine.

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