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Food Aid Requested for Somalia

August 22, 2001

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ The World Food Program appealed for 22,000 tons of food Wednesday to assist more than 500,000 Somalis facing serious food shortages.

Kevin Farrell, the program’s director in Somalia, said a lack of seasonal rains from March to May had created a ``serious food crisis″ in the Eastern African nation.

``The situation is extremely worrying,″ Farrell said.

He said Somalia will need 44,000 tons of food assistance in the coming months ``if we are to avoid a humanitarian tragedy.″ Other aid agencies would supply 22,000 tons of food, the program said.

The worst areas affected are the Gedo, Bay and Bakol regions in southern Somalia, which normally produce 70 to 75 percent of the annual sorghum crop, Farrell said. Sorghum is the staple food in Somalia.

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