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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid