Sunday, July 31, 2011

16 Somali children die of hunger

Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:16AM GMT
Internally displaced Somali children are seen outside their shelter at a camp in Badbado IDP settlement, south of Somali's capital Mogadishu, July 27, 2011.
At least sixteen children have died of hunger and diseases caused by the lack of food in Somalia as the food crisis in the Horn of Africa continues to escalate.

Medical sources confirmed on Saturday that the children died in lower Shabelle regional town of Merka, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Saturday's deaths come as the United Nations has warned that all areas of southern Somalia are slipping into famine, adding that the crisis will continue to worsen for at least three to four months.

Meanwhile, seven humanitarian flights carrying food and medical supplies from Arab nations and the UNICEF aid groups have arrived in the Somali capital city, Mogadishu.

Government officials say they will soon begin distributing food among the starving people in south Mogadishu.

The UN warned on Friday that it had raised its appeal for urgent funds by a quarter to about $1.5 billion "to provide life-saving assistance to more than 12 million people" across the four countries of the Horn.

Thousands of Somalis have fled to the neighboring Kenyan camp of Dadaab, which is currently hosting more than 440,000 refugees.

The Kenyan government has urged the UN to set up camps inside Somalia, saying the huge influx of refugees rushing to Kenya in search of food and shelter is unmanageable.

The UN and aid agencies have described the current situation in the East and Horn of Africa as the worst drought in 60 years and the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”


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