U.N.: Somalia Famine Is Spreading

Drought and insurgents complicate a must-win situation.

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Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Famine is spreading in Somalia. The United Nations' Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit determined Wednesday that three more regions of the embattled, drought-stricken nation are in a state of famine. Famine conditions are expected to spread throughout southern Somalia and persist until the end of the year. Almost half of Somalia's 7.5 million population is in crisis, with 3.2 million liable to die without immediate assistance.

The Associated Press reports:

"Despite increased attention in recent weeks, current humanitarian response remains inadequate, due in part to ongoing access restrictions and difficulties in scaling up emergency assistance programs, as well as funding gaps," the U.N.'s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit said.

The difficulty is compounded by interference from al-Qaeda-linked insurgents who are reported to have been harassing supply lines and shooting refugees attempting to flee the worst-stricken areas.

How much sadder does this story need to be before everybody who is able to chooses one or more of the many accesible ways to help?

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