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At least 30,000 kids perished in Somalia famine’

SOMALIA: At least 30,000 children under the age of five have been killed due to the drought and famine in Somalia, US estimates show. Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), told a congressional committee in Washington on Wednesday that the children have died in the last 90 days in southern Somalia, AP reported.

Clinton urges Somali militants to allow in food aid
US: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants Thursday to stop blocking aid to famine-hit areas of Somalia and allow it to reach masses of starving people.
Flanked by Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Clinton told reporters it was especially “tragic” that the militants were preventing aid from reaching the most vulnerable, children, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“I call on Al-Shebab to allow assistance to be delivered in an unfettered way throughout the area they currently control so that as many lives as possible can be saved,” the chief US diplomat said.
The United States said Tuesday it would support relief work in areas of Somalia held by the Shebab, easing restrictions as despair grows over a famine that has killed thousands. AFP

The new figure is based on nutrition and mortality surveys verified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Wednesday, the United Nations declared three new regions in Somalia famine zones, bringing the total number to five. The UN says 3.2 million Somalis are in need of immediate lifesaving assistance.

Somalia has been worst affected by famine in the Horn of Africa but parts of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti are also hit.

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