Famine Declared In Three More Regions Of Somalia

“The famine gripping parts of southern Somalia has spread to three new areas of the country, with the entire south likely to be declared a famine zone within the next six weeks, the United Nations said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports (Mohamed, 8/3).

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden said the Afgoye corridor outside Mogadishu, the capital itself, and the Middle Shabelle region are now in a state of famine, joining the Lower Shabelle and Bakool regions, in which famine was declared on July 20, according to the U.N. News Centre (8/3).

“A humanitarian emergency persists across all other regions of southern Somalia, and tens of thousands of excess deaths have already occurred,” the U.N.’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) said in a joint statement with the U.S.-based Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET), according to BBC News (8/3).

Valerie Vencatachellum, a senior policy adviser with the African Union, said on Wednesday that a donor conference to raise money for the crisis has been postponed for at least two weeks to allow heads of state to attend, the Associated Press/Guardian reports (8/3).