Aid agencies warn of looming catastrophe in Somalia

Aid agencies and local officials in Somalia have warned of a looming catastrophe, with hundreds of thousands threatened by starvation unless aid is urgently stepped up.

The worst drought in decades has driven many people from their homes. Others are cut off from potential help by a long-running Islamist insurgency.

One mother told the BBC that her three-year-old daughter had died of hunger and thirst as they walked to the south-western city of Baidoa for help.

A BBC correspondent says local hospitals are full of emaciated children.

A minister in the regional administration says 50% of people who need aid are not receiving it.

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