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Tuesday
Jul262011

U.N. to Begin Airlifting Food to Famine-Stricken Somalia

George Doyle/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Two areas of Southern Somalia ravaged by famine will now begin receiving airlifted food from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), according to the BBC. The sorely needed supplies will begin arriving at the country's wartorn capital, Mogadishu Tuesday.

At a recent emergency meeting in Rome, Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Ibrahim warned that more than 3.5 million people in Somalia are at the risk of starvation.

The U.N. declared famine in the East African country two weeks ago after severe drought -- that the U.N. insists is the area’s worst in 60 years -- only worsened conditions.

Nearly $12 million will go toward the immediate assistance of those most affected by the drought.

Although Somalia is believed to be worst-hit by the crisis, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti have also been affected, putting more than 10 million people at risk of starvation.

The problem though, is not only weather-related, but is compounded by political complications, as militant Islamists, who control most of Somalia, have banned the WFP from their areas, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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