US says East Africa famine easing but not over

AP News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2012 3:14 PM

U.S. officials say the famine in Somalia has eased but 13.3 million people across the Horn of Africa still need emergency food, shelter or other aid.

The State Department says there has been significant improvement in the 1 1/2-year-long emergency, still one of the world's largest humanitarian crises.

David Robinson, acting assistant secretary for population, refugees and migration, told reporters Tuesday the flow of refugees out of Somalia into neighboring countries has diminished, but thousands are still trying to get out and new camps are opening in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The crisis was triggered by crop failures tied to a regional drought, but officials said it has been aggravated by the fighting between Somalia's U.N.-backed government and al-Qaida linked insurgents.