[Three new areas of Somalia have been classified as having been hit by famine, the UN says.
It declared a famine in two large southern regions of the war-torn country in July.
"Famine is expected to spread across all regions of the south in the coming four to six weeks," said the UN Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit.
More than 11 million people have been affected by the worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa.
The UN's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) said that famine was "likely to persist until at least December 2011".
Evidence from malnutrition and mortality rates shows that famine thresholds have been surpassed in two rural districts of the Middle Shabelle region - Balcad and Cadale - as well as the parts in and around the capital, Mogadishu, where there are camps for displaced people.]
From the International Relief and Development Fund: [Over 12 million people across the Horn of Africa are in need of emergency assistance to survive the region's worst drought in a generation. IRD's Relief office's First Responders team will coordinate an emergency response in eastern Ethiopia to provide water, sanitation, hygiene, and supplemental feedings focused on helping the most vulnerable.
Please donate to our First Responders' Fund today. Your donation is a sound investment: it will be used wisely and efficiently to save lives, reduce suffering, and give people the tools they need to begin rebuilding their lives. IRD has vast expertise in delivering emergency relief, having responded to nearly every major emergency of the past 10 years. We have distributed food to those affected by drought in Niger, helped displaced Iraqis rebuild their livelihoods, provided shelter and hygiene kits to those affected by the Haiti earthquake, and we continue to help Pakistani farmers recover from the devastating 2010 floods.]
Please give $ to save people's lives, to feed hungry children. If you can't give financial support, at the very least sign the petition, mail it to everyone you know.