US Plans $100M in Somalia Famine Aid

Hundreds of thousands of children could die, warns official
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2011 12:55 PM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2011 1:00 PM CDT
A refugee woman from southern Somalia, attends to her child in their makeshift shelter in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011.   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

(Newser) – As top US officials warn that hundreds of thousands of children could die in Somalia's famine, Washington is preparing to send $100 million in new aid, two officials tell the AP. To raise awareness of the crisis, Jill Biden traveled to a refugee camp to "ask Americans and people worldwide, the global community, the human family, if they could just reach a little deeper into their pockets and give money to help these poor people, these poor mothers and children," she says.

Biden met with two Somali mothers and their children as well as the Kenyan president and prime minister. It is difficult for aid to reach militant-controlled regions of Somalia, forcing tens of thousands to cross the border to refugee camps; a top humanitarian official says aid is only reaching around 20% of the 2.6 million who require it. More than 29,000 Somali children under 5 years old have died so far in the famine, and 640,000 more are acutely malnourished.

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