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Somalia needs help from UN

Mark Bowden, the UN's chief aid representative in Somalia, says that during the past year the Horn of Africa famine crisis has claimed "tens of thousands of lives" in Somalia alone.

Mr Bowden estimates that the famine will last for at least another six or seven months and during that time 250,000 Somalis will remain at severe risk of starvation.

The over-stretched African Union is doing what it can, but it is neither properly equipped nor trained to manage the kind of relief effort required.

Only the United Nations is capable of mounting an operation on the scale required.

JOHN O'SHEA

CEO, Goal

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