Famine strikes Somalia again

The World

At this emergency feeding center, this one year old is being weighed by medics. Skin and bones, he’s just nine pounds, less than many new born babies. Drought killed off his family’s livestock and then his father died from hunger, so his mother walked for two days to this place. They made the journey without food and water. The price of food has gone too high says the mother. Food prices have tripled in markets. One-quarter of children in this part of Somalia are acutely malnourished. Analysts say they’re the victim of a perfect storm of severe drought, sky-rocketing food prices and warfare. This UN official says the need is increasing so rapidly. 30% of the population in this region is now surviving on UN food aid, and that number could rise to almost 4 million people by the end of the year. High fuel prices mean the food aid can go a lot less farther. Some analysts predict the problem could become as bad as the famine in the country in the early 1990s. Somalia hasn’t had an effective government for 17 years, and the current one is fighting with Islamist militias, which makes aid delivery very difficult.

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