The United Nations is warning the whole of conflict and drought-ridden Somalia is heading into famine – a crisis made worse by the refusal of Islamist militants in the country to let humanitarian aid in.
However African Union and government troops say they have driven al-Shabab rebels from three strategic points in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Visiting the troops there, Somalia’s President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said the latest push was intended to secure aid routes for drought victims.
The desperation of their situation means they are flocking to the city daily despite ongoing fighting between the two sides.
Meanwhile, in the massive Dadaab refugee camp complex in neighbouring Kenya a major polio and measles vaccination programme is underway. The influx of new arrivals heightens the risk of disease.
The UN has launched a new appeal for donations to help the estimated 12 million people across four countries hit by the catastrophe.