Drought emergency in Horn of Africa

June 30, 2011 at 9:29 AM

ROME, June 30 (UPI) -- A drought plaguing parts of the Horn of African means around 9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, the World Food Program said from Rome.

The U.N. World Food Program said there is an evolving regional hunger crisis in the region brought on by lingering drought. The agency said it aims to deliver food aid to around 6 million of the 9 million people affected by drought but had to scale back some of its regional efforts because resources are scarce.

"A slowly evolving regional hunger crisis may not have the immediate impact of a mega-emergency like the Haitian earthquake, or Pakistan floods, but the drought and rising malnutrition in the Horn affects more people and its effects are equally devastating," WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

International agencies say the drought is expected to linger for the rest of the year. The WFP said it estimates more than half of the people living in south Somalia are affected by drought.

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