Starving Somalia to Get Famine Designation

UN agencies poised to add 'humanitarian catastrophe' label
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2011 1:42 PM CDT
Two Somali children suffering from malnutrition lie at a camp for Internally Displaced People near Mogadishu airport on July 18, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Drought and food shortages have gotten so bad in southern Somalia that the UN is almost certain to upgrade the situation from a “humanitarian emergency” to a “famine/humanitarian catastrophe,” sources tell the Telegraph. “It’s 99% certain that tomorrow we will have to declare a full phase-five famine situation,” says one official.

The famine classification is to be employed whenever the ability to find food has “disintegrated” completely, according to UN guidelines. “In south-central Somalia, we’re there now,” says one senior UN staffer in Nairobi. The areas likely to be included are all under the control of the Islamic insurgent group al-Shabaab, which has interfered with aid and food shipments in the past. But in light of the crisis, the group declared an amnesty last week.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |