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African summit on Somalian famine postponed

Catholic World News - August 05, 2011

Despite the mounting urgency of a famine in Somalia, the African Union has postponed a meeting on that country’s crisis until the end of this month.

The famine in the Horn of Africa now affects roughly half of Somalia’s population, with an estimated 3 million people in imminent danger of starvation. Hundreds die each day. But relief efforts in Somalia have been stymied by the opposition of militant Muslim groups, and the general chaos of a country that has lacked an effective central government for more than 20 years.

Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants, told L’Osservatore Romano that it would be “inhuman” to ignore the suffering of people in the Horn of Africa. But while relief groups have been pouring help into neighboring countries, the effort to reach the needy in Somalia have lagged. “Unfortunately this is connected to the complicated history of Somalia,” he observes.

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