Imagine a sight of tens of thousands of skinny children with their families walking for weeks across a lifeless landscape to reach refugee camps with bleeding feet! This is not a movie, neither a storytelling; this is the reality of over 10 million people of Horn of Africa who have been affected with the worst drought in 60 years. A combination of failed rains and soaring global food prices has left those without enough food and water and at risk of malnutrition.
Parents are no longer with any means to feed their children –families have lost sources of income, with livestock perished, wells dried up and food prices became unaffordable. Some families say they have walked for over a month through sand and searing heat in search of food, water and shelter after the drought and ensuing food crisis became too much to bear. Many were forced to discard the few possessions they had along the way
The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that 3.5 million people in Kenya, 3.2 million in Ethiopia, 2.5 million in Somalia, over half a million in Uganda, and over a hundred thousand in Dijbouti are in need of food assistance. Rising food prices have worsened the situation.
Somalia: Drought and fighting are driving ever greater numbers of Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks. Children are arriving from Somalia exhausted, malnourished and severely dehydrated.
Kenya: In Kenya the food prices are at an all time high as a result of a decrease in livestock. The largest refugee camp in the world is in Kenya, on the Somali-Kenya border, with over 300,000 inhabitants.
Ethiopia: The consumer price index has jumped about 41%.
According to the relief organizations, the drought and rising malnutrition in the Horn of Africa have affected more people than the Haitians earthquake and the Pakistani flood, and these effects are equally devastating. If we do not tackle the situation as soon as possible, it could become worse.
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IS appealing for emergency aid to help with the humanitarian effort. IR has observed an increased number of cases of widespread malnutrition and diarrhoea in children which is deadly in the current conditions.
Has already launched a major humanitarian response in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, feeding tens of thousands of underweight children, providing medical treatment, and getting clean water to remote communities.