By August of 1992, effects of the Somali famine had reached disastrous proportions. UN envoys estimated that 25% of all Somalis (about 1.5 million people) would likely die of starvation by 1997. Food supplies were sent to Somalia from all over the world but were not properly distributed to the needy people. The central government of Somalia had collapsed in January of 1991 after Siad Barre's regime was overthrown by the rebels. Bandits under the influence of khat looted food warehouses in Mogadishu and the surrounding cities.