US relaxes limits on Somalia aid as famine looms

By REUTERS
August 2, 2011 20:52

 
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WASHINGTON - The United States is working to get more relief into famine-ravaged southern Somalia and is reassuring aid agencies they will not be penalized for programs in regions controlled by al Shabaab rebels, US officials said on Tuesday.

"We have issued new guidance to allow more flexibility and to allow a wider range of aid to a larger number of areas in need," one US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Humanitarian assistance organizations that have good faith efforts to deliver food to people in need will not risk prosecution."

The United States has placed al Shabaab on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations, a designation which forbids US groups from providing "material support" to the group that controls large parts of the Horn of Africa nation.

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