In recent weeks, we've been reporting on the famine in the Horn of Africa. The UN has declared the famine "the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world." There are some numbers to back up the brutal accuracy of that claim here.
Meanwhile today, Somali soldiers opened fire on hungry people seeking food, killing seven people. Reports say both soldiers and civilians were trying to grab food, trouble started, and shots were fired. As well, a UN refugee official says the militant Islamist group al-Shabab is preventing Somalis from fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek assistance. A few weeks ago, al-Shabab surprised the global community when it admitted there was a famine and invited aid groups into selected areas of the country. Since then, the group denies the famine is taking place.
Somalis desperately need aid. To date, the drought and famine in Somalia have killed more than 29,000 children under the age of five, according to U.S. estimates. Visit the CBC's East Africa Relief page to learn more and find out how you can help.