More than 2 million Somalis out of aid groups' reach

By REUTERS
July 23, 2011 13:24

EL ADOW, Kenya - Aid agencies are unable to reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the famine-struck Horn of Africa country where Islamist insurgents control much of the worst-hit areas, the UN's food agency said on Saturday.

World Food Program (WFP) officials said the areas of southern Somalia controlled by the al-Qaida-linked al Shabaab, which imposed a ban on food aid in 2010, were among the most dangerous to operate in worldwide.

"There are 2.2 million people yet to be reached. It is the most dangerous environment we are working in in the world. But people are dying. It's not about politics, it's about saving lives now," Josette Sheeran, WFP's executive director, told agency staff and reporters in northeastern Kenya.

The drought gripping the region straddling Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia is the worst for 20 years and is affecting some 10 million people, the United Nations says. In southern Somalia, 3.7 million people risk starvation.


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