Thousands Dying from Malnutrition in Somalia

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Tens of thousands of Somalians are dying from malnutrition as the worst drought in 60 years causes massive food shortages and famine in some parts of the country.

The United Nations declared a famine in lower Shabelle and southern Bakool, where malnutrition rates are higher than anywhere else in the world.

In some areas, more than half the population are malnourished. More than 30 percent of Somalian children are acutely malnourished.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies talked more about the African drought and why it's been hard and even unsafe to deliver Western aid to the victims on the CBN News Channel's Morning News.

The drought has left an estimated 11 million people at risk. Thousands are fleeing to refugee camps in neighboring countries, hoping to find food.

"The situation on the ground is very worrying at the moment because people are moving in quite large numbers into Ethiopia and Kenya," U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia Mark Bowden said.

"They're moving because they lost all their stock as a result of the drought," Bowden said. "They've run through their reserves and they see no other hope but to move at this stage," he said.

Somalia has been wracked by years of little rain and decades of conflict.

Two years ago, al-Shabaad, a Muslim group linked to al-Qaeda, prevented aid from reaching those in need. They have recently rescinded that ban, saying they would reopen areas to humanitarian aid.

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