Food crisis brought on by African drought

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 12 (UPI) -- The international community needs take immediate action to avert a food crisis in the Horn of Africa, a U.N. expert said.

The U.N. World Food Program said there is an evolving hunger crisis in the region brought on by lingering drought. International agencies say the drought is expected to last for the rest of the year.


Shamsul Bari, a U.N. independent expert on the situation in Somalia, said there where around 10 million people at immediate risk of starvation in part because of the worst drought to hit the area in 60 years.

"I am appalled by the plight of the Somali people who are experiencing the most acute humanitarian tragedy in the world today as a result of the most severe drought in 10 years," he said in a statement.

Nearly one-third of the regional population is in some state of food crisis, the United Nations estimates. In Somalia, about 80 percent of the malnourished children are in the southern part of the country controlled by al-Qaida's affiliate al-Shabaab.

"Drastically increasing food prices and continuing conflict and insecurity have caused a huge displacement of the population, with thousands of Somalis fleeing to Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti every day," said Bari.


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