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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Somalia famine deaths to spiral, agencies warn

An AFP report, excerpt :

" Drought and famine-blighted Somalia is at a "turning point" as conditions decline with hundreds of thousands more people likely to die in coming months, 20 aid agencies warned on Wednesday.

The situation was the worst ever seen by the group of international and Somali non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and was expected to deteriorate further, they said.

"As NGOs who have worked in Somalia for decades, we are accustomed to the daily struggle to survive that is the reality for most Somalis," they said in a letter released on Wednesday, warning upcoming rains would add to the misery.

"However, never before have we faced such acute suffering with so many lives at stake. Somalia is at a turning point."

International agencies that signed the letter included Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, ACF International, Caritas Switzerland, World Vison, Medecins du Monde France, Danish Refugee Council and Mines Advisory Group.

The United Nations has declared six regions in south Somalia famine zones.

The letter also repeated an earlier United Nations' warning that 750,000 people faced death from starvation in the next four months."

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