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Rain Predicted for Famine-Hit Southern Somalia

Effects of severe drought are visible throughout the Horn of Africa (file photo).

The U.N. weather agency is forecasting a return to normal or above normal rainfall conditions in famine-hit southern Somalia, eastern, central and coastal Kenya, and in northeastern Tanzania.

The World Meteorological Organization said its prediction, issued Wednesday, is for the September to December, an important rainfall season for southern Somalia and other equatorial regions in the Horn of Africa.

The Horn is struggling with a severe drought that has left more than 12 million people in need of food aid.

The forecast notes that in some parts of the Horn, September-to-December is not an important rainfall season, and that in those areas there may not be much easing of the drought.

Experts have warned that despite international relief efforts, famine is likely to spread to other parts of Somalia over the next few months.

The WMO says its conclusions were reached at a forum of East African and international meteorologists in Entebbe, Uganda last week.