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UN says 2.51 mln people suffer food crisis in Somalia

(Xinhua)

14:24, August 12, 2012

NAIROBI, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian agency said on Saturday that some 2.51 million people in Somalia are facing humanitarian crisis and additional 1.29 million are at risk of sliding back into crisis without sustained assistance.

In its humanitarian update received in Nairobi, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said tens of thousands of Somalis died in the crisis, but the massive influx of donor funding, a rapid scale-up of humanitarian assistance and an exceptional harvest at the beginning of the year helped overcome the famine by February.

"We need to act now to build on the gains," Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden said in the statement.

"Parts of southern Somalia are already expected to deteriorate to emergency levels in coming months and the underperformance of the April-to-June Gu rains will likely result in a harvest that is smaller and later than usual," Bowden said.

Following the mid-year review of the consolidated humanitarian appeal for Somalia, humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies in Somalia are urging donors to provide 576 million U.S. dollars to address the enormous needs over the next six months.
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