New Food Distribution in Famine-Hit Somalia

Posted October 5th, 2011 at 7:55 am (UTC-5)
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The Red Cross has begun a massive food aid distribution aimed at helping 1.1 million people in famine-struck Somalia.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says the first round of distributions in Somalia's Gedo region will provide 72,000 people with enough beans, oil and rice to cover their needs for a month.

An ICRC statement Wednesday says several more distributions will take place between now and December.

The ICRC says it will also provide seed and fertilizer to 240,000 farmers so Somalis can take advantage of what is forecast to be a good rainy season in the next couple of months. It says that project is being carried out with volunteers from the Somali Red Crescent Society.

The United Nations has declared six regions of southern Somalia to be famine zones.

The whole country and the Horn of Africa are dealing with an extended drought that has left 12 million people in need of food aid.

Aid distribution in some parts of Somali has been blocked or hampered by the militant group al-Shabab.