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AP / The Hindu /GENEVA, August 9, 2011.
A Somali refugee walks with donated clothing at a distribution point in the Ifo camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya on Sunday Aug. 7, 2011. According to the United Nations, 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise - AP.
The number of people fleeing famine-hit areas of Somalia is likely to rise dramatically and could overwhelm international aid efforts in the Horn of Africa, a U.N. aid official said Tuesday.
The United Nations estimates that tens of thousands of people have died from malnutrition in Somalia in recent months, and over 11 million people across East Africa need food aid because of a long-running drought.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation’s representative in Kenya warned that the situation could become “simply unbearable” in the coming weeks if Somalis continue to abandon their homes in south and central parts of the country in search of food.
Already thousands have fled toward the Somali capital of Mogadishu and across the borders to Kenya and Ethiopia, where refugee camps are straining under the pressure of new arrivals.
“The possibility is basically having everybody who lives in that area moving out, which would be a disaster,” said Luca Alinovi, adding that transportation costs have doubled in recent months -- evidence that there is growing pressure to leave.
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