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Envoy urges action to prevent Somalia famine deaths

Associated Press

United Nations — Britain’s envoy for the Horn of Africa is warning that hundreds of thousands of people in Somalia may die or be near death in May if immediate action isn’t taken to address the threat of famine.

Nicholas Kay said at a briefing Wednesday that the British government is organizing a conference on Somalia in London in May, but he said that “action is needed immediately.”

In his words, “If by the time the conference in May happens we are having to sound the alarm and discuss the famine issue, that is going to be too late. There may be hundreds of thousands of people dead or about to die.”

Somalia faced famine in 2010-2011 and is now experiencing a nationwide drought. The U.N. says 5 million people need humanitarian assistance.