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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid