UN: Somalia Famine Over, but Millions Still Need Food Aid

Posted February 3rd, 2012 at 3:20 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations says the dire food situation in Somalia has improved somewhat, but warns that nearly a third of the war-torn country's population is still in need of urgent food aid.

The famine was the worst in 60 years and killed tens of thousands of people.

The U.N. said Friday renewed rain, and supplies of fertilizer, seed, and food aid helped the nation improve from “famine” to a “humanitarian emergency.” The agency warned that those gains were fragile and could be reversed without continued support.

The U.N. says “famine” means two adults or four children per 10,000 people die of hunger each day and a third of children are acutely malnourished.

The U.N. first officially declared a famine in two parts of southern Somalia in July after a severe and prolonged regional drought. The famine later spread to include six out of eight regions in the Horn of Africa country.

At its height, some 12 million people were in need of emergency food aid. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis were forced to flee to refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Somali capital of Mogadishu in search of food and water.

Efforts to deliver aid to Somalia have been hampered by militant group al-Shabab, which has restricted international relief efforts in many of the areas they control.