A widespread humanitarian crisis persists in war-torn Somalia, with an estimated 3.2 million people, or 42 per cent of the population, in need of emergency aid or livelihood support, and one in six children acutely malnourished and requiring specialist care, according to a U.N. update released Feb. 5. Of these children, one in 22 is severely malnourished and at a nine-fold increased risk of death compared to well-nourished children, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported. In south and central Somalia, which has been plagued by factional fighting and has not had a functioning central government since 1991, the rates are higher with one in five children acutely malnourished, of which one in 20 is acutely malnourished. These national rates of acute malnutrition continue to be amongst the highest in the world. (U.N. News Service)

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