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Acutely malnourished Sacdiyo Mohamed, 9 months old, is treated at the Banadir Hospital in Somalia yesterday after her mother, Halima Hassan Mohamed, fled the drought in southern Somalia and traveled by car to the capital, Mogadishu / AP's Mohamed Sheikh Nor

"20 million at risk of starvation in world's largest [humanitarian] crisis since 1945, UN says," by CNN's Faith Karimi:

  • The scope: "UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien pleaded with the world to come to the rescue of Kenya, Yemen, South Sudan and Somalia. 'We stand at a critical point in history. Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN'" in 1945.
  • Terror group stealing food: "The drought, impending famine and the presence of terrorist group Al-Shabaab have left [Somalia] and its people in a desperate situation ... "Al-Shabaab blocks the roads, there is no access for food aid, the Shabaab steal food.
  • The numbers: "In Somalia, more than 6 million people are in need of food assistance -- more than half the population. ... In neighboring Kenya, more than 2.7 million people are at risk of starvation, and that number could go up to 4 million by next month ... South Sudan, where a famine was recently declared, has more than 7.5 million people in need of assistance -- more than half of whom have been displaced ... in Yemen, more than 7 million people are severely food insecure."

More details in the full UN statement.

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Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

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Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

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