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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The UN officially declared famine in southern Somalia

UN declares famine in southern Somalia

The displaced Somali mother attends her malnourished child at southern Mogadishu's' Banadir hospital on Tuesday where medics have said most of the displaced children are ill and have been treated for severe malnutrition. Mortality rate in June reached 7.4 deaths per 10,000 a day, triggering an outcry from international community for help.
UN's definition of famine:
--Acute malnutrition of more than 30 percent of children
--Two deaths per 10,000 people a day
--Access to less than four litres of water and 2,100 kilocalories a day
--Complete loss of assets or income
--Large-scale displacement of people and civil strife

The UN officially declared famine in two parts of southern Somalia yesterday as the world slowly mobilised to save the 12 million people battling hunger in the region's worst drought in 60 years.

"If we are not able to intervene immediately, tens of thousands more Somalis may die," the UN added.

Somalia, which has been affected by almost uninterrupted conflict for 20 years and become a by-word for "failed state", is the worst affected nation but parts of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti are also hit.

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