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U.K., Islamic Countries Pledge Additional Funds For Famine Aid In Somalia

During a visit to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, U.K. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell on Wednesday pledged an additional $41.5 million in aid to Somalia, to be distributed through UNICEF, BBC News reports. The funding will enable UNICEF “to provide supplementary rations for up to 192,000 people … supplies to vaccinate 800,000 children against measles … polio vaccines, vitamin A, and deworming supplies and equipment to help prevent malaria,” the news service writes (8/17). “Meanwhile, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries pledged $350 million in aid for Somalia at an emergency summit in Istanbul,” according to the Guardian.

Mitchell also “warned that up to 400,000 children could die through starvation if urgent action is not taken to help Somalia and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa,” the Guardian reports. “Mitchell urged other countries to step up their aid effort as the U.N. warns that more regions of Somalia will be hit by famine in the coming months,” the newspaper writes (Tran, 8/17).

Al-Jazeera reports on the evacuation of a hospital in northern Mogadishu on Tuesday “after stray bullets from a fire fight between members of the armed group al-Shabab and Somali authorities broke out.” The news agency reports that “[g]etting aid to the country has been difficult because al-Shabab fighters control much of the country’s most desperate areas” (8/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.