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750,000 Somalis may die due to worsening drought

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The United Nations estimates up to 750,000 people may die as a result of the drought and subsequent famine in Somalia. That figure eclipses the death toll of the Asian tsunami and Haiti earthquake combined.

The warning comes as famine is declared in a sixth region of Somalia. The UN says over 58% of people in the Bay area are acutely malnourished. That's almost double the rate at which famine is officially declared (30%).

"Though the famine was expected to spread to more regions in Somalia, the situation in the Bay area - a landlocked southern province - is worse than anything previously recorded" says World Vision Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs manager Ian McInnes.

"The declaration simply confirms what we are witnessing on the Ethiopian and Kenyan borders where appallingly malnourished Somalis continue to arrive in search of help".

While Somalia appears to be the worst affected, the drought is also wreaking havoc in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and parts of Tanzania and Uganda.

World Vision is currently trucking water into the most remote areas, distributing food and medical supplies and treating people for malnutrition in northern and southern Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

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