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Horn Of Africa Nations Risk ‘Massive Famine,’ Shah Says

The nations in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa “are at risk of ‘massive famine,’ Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told the Huffington Post Wednesday.” “It’s very severe,” Shah said. “We know from the data that we’ve been collecting that this is the worst drought in 60 years and it’s going to have severe consequences. Eleven and a half million people are at real risk of malnutrition and famine already,” the Huffington Post reports (Hersh, 7/13).

On Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that “[i]n some parts of Somalia, the number of children with severe acute malnutrition has almost doubled since March” and the “[l]evels of malnutrition have reached a new peak and are currently the highest in the world,” Reuters reports (7/13).

UNICEF on Wednesday resumed airlifts of aid into parts of Somalia that are controlled by the militant group al-Shabab, after suspending air deliveries in 2009 because of threats from the group, VOA News notes (7/13). The World Food Program on Wednesday “said it could return to the south ‘if conditions allow and if the necessary security clearance from the United Nations is granted,'” Reuters writes (7/13).