News / Africa

Aid Group: Horn Crisis Quite Staggering

Carolyn Miles sits with Isnino Adan and her two-month old baby girl, Habibo. Isnino, 16 years old, gave birth two months ago in a truck during her journey from Somalia to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Save the Children placed Isnino with a foster fami
Carolyn Miles sits with Isnino Adan and her two-month old baby girl, Habibo. Isnino, 16 years old, gave birth two months ago in a truck during her journey from Somalia to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Save the Children placed Isnino with a foster fami
Joe DeCapua

The head of the humanitarian organization Save the Children has toured the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya, calling the crisis in the Horn of Africa “quite staggering.”

Over 400,000 refugees, mostly Somalis, are at the Dadaab complex, with more than one thousand new arrivals each day.

“About half of those 1,000 or 1200 a day are children – really just streaming into these camps, needing assistance after some very, very tough journeys to get there,” said President and CEO Carolyn Miles.

There have been numerous reports of mothers being forced to leave children by the roadside because they were too weak to continue the 15 to 20 day walk to Dadaab.

For those children who reach the camps, she said, “Certainly, the children are not in great shape. About half of them are malnourished…. Now there is help along the way to make sure the kids are reaching the camps. So that’s the good news.”

Food, water and more

Besides meeting the immediate needs of food and water, Miles said another need is help for psychological trauma among children. “Some of them have been put with relatives. They don’t know where their parents are in some cases. They’ve been separated from their families, so there is a lot of trauma there as well.”

Save the Children has programs operating to help deal with it.

“We have staff right at the receiving centers and so when kids are coming in if they’re identified as not with their families – they’re with neighbors or other groups that they just join in with – we are working to try to trace their parents. And we are placing them inside the camps with foster families, which is a process to try to get them some stability in their lives,” she said.

Ethiopia

Climate and weather experts predict recurring droughts in the Horn of Africa. Miles said much of Save the Children’s work attempts to reduce the risk of disaster, such as improving food security.

“In fact," she said, “we believe that a lot of the work we’ve been doing in Ethiopia prevented another five or six million people from being at risk in this emergency. You don’t see that because it’s what didn’t happen. But these programs on food security are incredibly important.”

The aid group targeted its programs toward pastoralists.

“They go from place to place with their animals and we’re working with them on trying to make sure that they have good information about where there’s food for their animals – how they should be looking at adding to their ability to keep their families alive by also doing planting and doing some farming,” she said.

It may be more difficult to have such programs in Somalia due to the lack of security.

“It’s a very challenging place to work,” said Miles, “Right now the focus is on the short term humanitarian needs in Somalia and we are doing that…. There are people in these communities that obviously want to survive and they want their families to survive. And so a lot of our work is focused on working inside communities.”

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid