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U.N.’s Somalia Official Says ‘Tens Of Thousands’ Of Somalis Died From Malnutrition Over Last Year

Mark Bowden, the U.N.’s official in Somalia, on Sunday said “tens of thousands of people will have died over the last year” in the country’s famine, adding that the rates of malnutrition are “amazingly high,” BBC News reports. “He said a quarter of a million Somalis were still suffering from the famine,” and he “said malnutrition rates have begun to drop but the crisis was likely to continue for the next six or seven months,” the news service notes (1/15).

“Heightened military action in Somalia risks jeopardizing fragile gains in dealing with the humanitarian crisis in the region, [Bowden] said,” according to the Guardian. He “said the Kenyan incursion into Somalia against al-Shabab insurgents has ‘not really had an impact,’ although Somali refugees have stopped crossing the border,” the newspaper writes (Tran, 1/16). “The U.N. is calling for additional funds to replenish flocks of sheep, goats and camels so that people can re-build their lives,” BBC notes (1/15). Bowden appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday to discuss the situation (Martin, 1/15).

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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.