Bloomberg News

Horn of Africa Drought Puts Millions in Need of Aid, UN Says

June 29, 2011

(Updates with UN goal to feed 6 million people in the sixth paragraph.)

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- At least 9 million people in the Horn of Africa are in need of humanitarian assistance because of drought and conflict in the region, the World Food Program said.

The United Nations’ food agency has been forced to scale back aid in two of the affected countries, Somalia and Ethiopia, due to a lack of funds, at a time when rations should be increased, Josette Sheeran, WFP’s executive director, said in an e-mailed statement today. Other countries hit by the drought include Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda.

The WFP aims to provide food assistance to about 6 million of the most vulnerable people in the region, where the drought poses as big a threat as the earthquake in Haiti that killed 300,000 people last year, she said. The crisis comes as more than 10,000 Somali refugees flee conflict to camps in neighboring Kenya each week, she said.

Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the ouster of Mohamed Siad Barre 20 years ago. The south and center of the country is under siege by an al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militia, known as al-Shabaab, while the government has control over parts of Mogadishu, the capital.

--Editors: Philip Sanders, Ben Holland

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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