Famine in parts of Somalia ‘at the door’, says UN humanitarian chief

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NAIROBI, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Famine will occur in parts of Somalia between October and December, the United Nations warned on Monday, as a drought worsens and global food prices hover near record highs.

“Famine is at the door,” U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said at a news conference in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

The U.N. humanitarian chief explained he had concrete indications that famine would occur by autumn in parts of south central Somalia.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, and experts say the region is on track for a fifth consecutive failed rainy season.

Griffiths said the current “situations and trends” resembled those of 2010 and 2011, but that it was “worse” now, due to four failed rainy seasons and decades of conflicts.

In 2011 the country experienced a famine that claimed more than a quarter of a million lives, most of them children.

(Reporting by Giulia Paravicini, Editing by William Maclean)

Photo – A young Internally Displaced Person (IDP) looking on from his family’s makeshift shelter in an IDP camp in the outskirts of Qardho in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Somalia. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA

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