Today in Famine: Jill Biden Leads American Visit To Region

The latest in our unfortunate series on the ongoing famine in Somalia and crisis in the Horn of Africa.

By the numbers:

12.42 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa.

Out of an estimated US$2.5 billion in humanitarian requirements for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, $1.2 billion has been committed.

Latest news

Jill Biden is leading a high level American delegation to the region. The group includes USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Undersecretary of State for Population and Refugees Eric Schwartz and National Security Council Senior Director for Global Development Gayle Smith on a visit to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. Those camps, by the way, are now the site of a new Measles outbreak.

Meanwhile, IDP flows to Mogadishu seem to be slowing from about 500 to 250 new arrivals per day.  (As an aside, you know things are really, really bad when people are fleeing to Mogadishu. Over the past three years a city the size of Miami, made up almost exclusively of IDPs from Mogadishu, has popped up 30km from the Somali capital. )

Still, the UN declared last week that the famine threshold was surpassed among some of the newly arrived.  UNHCR landed its first airlift of emergency supplies in Mogadishu in five years.