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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

(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.

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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. (Read more Somalia stories.)

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