NEW YORK, Aug. 18 (UPI) — With more than 3 million people on the verge of starvation in Somalia, the United Nations said more help is needed to stem the humanitarian crisis.
A drought plaguing much of the Horn of Africa is creating widespread famine. U.N. humanitarian officials said 3.2 million people in Somalia are at risk of starvation while another 12.4 million in the region are facing a humanitarian emergency brought on by the drought.
Valerie Amos, U.N. under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said following a visit to the region that aid groups on the ground were making progress.
“But we’re faced with a still spreading famine in Somalia and with such a scale of suffering that every effort needs to be made and sustained in the months ahead,” she said.
Around 500,000 people in the region were getting clean water and vaccinations campaigns were under way, however, the famine in Somalia has killed tens of thousands of people and the crisis is spreading.
“We need to get more food and nutritional supplies, water, sanitation and hygiene equipment and medical care to those who are in desperate need,” Amos said.
The regional drought is expected to last for the rest of the year.