Somalia: Aid Groups Battle Acute Malnutrition
According to WORLD News Service, militants in Somalia continue to be the biggest stumbling block to delivering aid to the famine-plagued country — despite pleas from the international community and a UN announcement that acute malnutrition in the country is spreading. But humanitarian groups working in surrounding countries like Kenya and Ethiopia are providing a way for the outside world to help. On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked group that controls large parts of Somalia and has blocked food and grain shipments, to allow aid to move “unfettered” into famine areas. At the same time, the UN declared four new areas of the country, including areas near Mogadishu, the capital, as surpassing famine thresholds. “A humanitarian emergency persists across all other regions of southern Somalia, and tens of thousands of excess deaths have already occurred,” announced UN food and security analysts in neighboring Kenya. Despite increased attention since the UN first declared the famine in July, the international response remains “inadequate”—due largely to restrictions by militants. As a result, experts believe the famine will continue to widen across all regions of southern Somalia and to persist at least until December.