Famine: 260,000 died in Somalia, new figures show


Families from southern Somalia line up for aid from aid agency at Howl Wadaag district in Mogadishu on Oct. 15, 2011.



We already know that Somalia's 2011 famine was bad, but new figures show that it may have been even worse than previously thought. A new report shows that 260,000 people died in the disaster, more than double previous death toll estimates,  the Associated Press reported.

More than half of the victims were age 5 and under. Though the famine was caused by a drought, the aid community believes that the death toll got so high because the international community was slow to respond, the AP reported today. 

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Yet it's long been known that man-made factors have exacerbated the death toll. As  GlobalPost reported in 2011, almost all of the famine areas were controlled by Al Shabaab, the armed Islamist insurgents with links to Al Qaeda.

And the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) at the time  accused other aid agencies  and the media of “glossing over” the “man-made” reasons for the famine.

The latest report, meanwhile, won't be made public until Thursday, but AP was briefed on it ahead of schedule by three anonymous sources.