U.S., U.N. Food Agencies Downgrade Three Somalia Famine Zones To Emergency Status

U.S. and U.N. food agencies on Friday said three famine zones in Somalia had been downgraded to emergency status, as aid had reduced death rates, but “three other areas — including the refugee communities of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu — remain in the famine zone,” the Associated Press/CBSNews reports. The agencies “warn[ed] that a quarter million Somalis face imminent starvation, and that military battles are preventing food deliveries,” according to the AP (11/18). The U.N. Food Security Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) said in a statement, “Overall, food security outcomes remain the worst in the world, and the worst in Somalia since the 1991/92 famine,” Agence France-Presse notes (11/18).

“Relief agencies welcomed the signs of improvement, but they cautioned that they expect continued outbreaks of measles, cholera and malaria in Somalia during the current rainy season. Four million people still need life-saving assistance, they said,” the Globe and Mail writes (York, 11/18). According to the U.N., about $800 million has been raised for the humanitarian effort in Somalia, but more than $1 billion will be needed next year, BBC News notes (11/18).