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Famine Spreads in East Africa Due to Drought September 9, 2011
African Famine Graphic
"In total, 4 million people are in crisis in Somalia, with 750,000 people at risk of death in the coming four months in the absence of adequate response." U.N.
Drought-induced famine in the Horn of Africa has reached a sixth region in southern Somalia, and will likely spread further over the next four months, according to the United Nations.

More than 12 million people in the region, including parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda, are struggling to cope with the worst drought in decades, and the U.N. says those affected are in dire need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

The term "famine" officially implies that at least 20 percent of households in a particular location face acute food shortages, severe malnutrition exists in over 30 percent of the population and there are two deaths per 10,000 people each day.

Even though there are some indications that near or above-normal rainfall could return to Somalia in the next three months, September-to-December precipitation usually contributes the smallest portion of the annual rainfall total.

Fears of a resurgent La Niña could mean yet another round of scant rainfall during the first half of next year.

Graphic Data: U.N.