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Situation in the Horn of Africa Worsens
contaminated water, they are not vaccinated and they have
poor diets. All of these conditions are worsening now and are
aggravated even further when families are forced to move.
This region has seen many crises, but the current one may be
the worst in 60 years and threatens thousands of families
already living in the direst of conditions. The past months have
been the driest in six decades in parts of the region. Any
short-term improvement is unlikely since the next harvest is
expected to be poor. It's hard for anyone or anything to
survive in such a blistering environment.
UNICEF has airlifted 5 tons of emergency nutrition supplies,
medicine, and water-related equipment to Baidoa in southern
Somalia to assist drought-affected children. Supplies for 10
health facilities to reach up to 100,000 people have also been
airlifted to the capital
supplies consist of
health kits with
essential medicines to
such as respiratory
diarrhea, minor injuries
and worm infestation.
"The situation in
Somalia and across the
Horn of Africa is more
than just a food crisis.
It is a survivl crisis,"
said President and CEO
of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern. "The earlier we act,
the more children we can save. Americans are a generous
people, and a little goes a long way-just $10 can feed a child for
Peter Wingfield and Project Edan continue to support
UNICEF's humanitarian programs so any donation you make will
help UNICEF save the lives of these children. As fortunate as
we are, it's so hard for us to imagine what these vulnerable
children are going through in their struggle to survive another
day. Any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated.
By Bev Shihara, July 22, 2011
The children in the Horn of Africa desperately need our help. On
July 20th the UN declared a famine in areas of southern Somalia.
UNICEF has called this crisis "the most severe humanitarian
emergency in the world," with Somalia being the epicenter. As
usual, children - especially Somali children - silently suffer and
pay the highest price.
Due to two consecutive failed rainy seasons, on-going civil conflict
in Somalia, massive refuge movement and price increases of up to
200 per cent for some food staples, the Horn of Africa is facing
one of the most severe food crises in the world today. As usual,
among the most vulnerable are the children…2 million children
under the age of five in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are
acutely malnourished, including 480,000 who are severely
malnourished and at imminent risk of dying. In the last few
months, tens of thousands of people have died as a result of
causes related to malnutrition, the majority of whom were
With the lack of food for general distribution in southern
Somalia, many families are leaving for Kenya and Ethiopia. Three
camps in Dadaab - Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley were set up years
ago for the steady flow of refugees fleeing conflict in Somalia.
The population of Ifo, originally intended to accommodate 90,000,
has swelled to nearly 400,000, mostly women and children, with
most living in makeshift tents. Among Somali children in the
refugee camps, particularly the new arrivals, an acute malnutrition
rate of 40 per cent has been reported in some instances.
Families leaving Somalia have gone through so many hardships,
sometimes walking over 400 km together for a month in blistering
heat and dust just to give their children some hope for survival.
Even the poorest mothers living in the most dire situations still
love their children and want the best for them. They want their
children to grow up with a future.
UNICEF is providing therapeutic food to the children who are at
the greatest risk. The most severe cases receive therapeutic milk
for the first three or four days and then they can usually be put
on Plumpy'nut which is a high-energy peanut paste that helps
them recover over the following weeks. Some malnourished
children, however, reach the hospital too late. During a visit to a
therapeutic feeding center at Ifo camp, a UNICEF Regional
Director witnessed this as efforts failed to save the lives of six
Children do not die just because they don't have enough food.
They are dying or are affected for the rest of their lives because
they are more prone to sickness and disease, because they drink
This will count toward the matching fund.