U.S. estimates nearly 30,000 children have died in famine

Tally measures children under 5 who have died in last 90 days

Over 29,000 children under the age of 5 have died as a result of the famine in Somalia, according to a U.S. estimate. These deaths have also occurred during the last 90 days, said Nancy Lindborg, an official with the U.S. government’s international aid agency speaking to a panel of congressional representatives in Washington. The U.S. estimate comes after the UN declared three new regions in southern Somalia to be official famine zones. According to the UN, 3.2 million Somalis are in need of immediate assistance. The country in the Horn of Africa has a total population of around 7.5 million. The delivery of aid in the drought-ridden area has been made difficult by the activities of al-Shabab. The Islamic militant group is reportedly recruiting child soldiers and disrupting aid shipments to famine-stricken people in southern Somalia. They are also preventing many people from leaving the famine zones, threatening to kill their relatives, according to the Associated Press.

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