Number in need of help in East Africa rises to 13.3 mln: UN

9th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Drought, high food prices and fighting in Somalia has increased the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa to 13.3 million, the UN said Friday.

The previous estimate for those in need of assistance in the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti stood at 12.4 million, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

"This is largely due to the impact of drought, worsened by high food prices, as well as conflict and insecurity in Somalia," it said.

The figure includes over 840,000 refugees who have feld their country, of which there are over 681,000 Somalis who have crossed the border, mostly into Kenya and Ethiopia.

On Monday the United Nations declared that famine spread in a sixth southern Somalia region, and warned it was likely to extend further in the coming four months.

It added that only 63 percent of its $2.5 billion appeal to provide humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa was financed.

© 2011 AFP

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