News / Africa

UN: Somali Famine Refugees' Health Worsens

A malnourished child from southern Somalia lies in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia ( Aug. file photo)
A malnourished child from southern Somalia lies in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia ( Aug. file photo)

The U.N. refugee agency says it is extremely concerned about the increasingly poor health of recent Somali arrivals in Ethiopia.  UNHCR reports it is particularly worried about the many severely malnourished children arriving in the Dollo Ado area near the Somalia/Ethiopia border.

The U.N. refugee agency reports 19 percent of Somali refugee children arriving at the Kobe camp in the Dollo Ado area are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says at three nearby refugee camps, the rates are 16 percent, 10 percent and seven percent, respectively. “In July, you may recall, we spoke about our concerns of the acute malnutrition in Dollo Ado.  Severe acute malnutrition is at a yet more serious level and poses a particular risk for children below the age of five.  UNHCR considers a rate of over one percent to be alarming,” Edwards said.  

In light of these findings, Edwards says the UNHCR and other aid agencies are planning to increase food distribution points in the camps.  He says they also will urgently open more centers for nutritional feeding and make sure that malnourished refugees receive appropriate supplementary food.

“Outreach workers are going to go from tent to tent and look for malnourished children who are not already enrolled in the feeding programs.  They will also trace children who may not be continuing with nutritional feeding treatment.  Given the severity of the situation, we expect that malnutrition rates will remain high for some weeks until the situation stabilizes,” Edwards said.  

Edwards says local Ethiopian authorities in Gode recently told the UNHCR that some people along the Somali-Ethiopian border are actually internally displaced people inside Somalia and not refugees.  The refugee-agency spokesman said the border between the two countries is hard to determine, so it is sometimes difficult to clearly establish whether someone is a refugee or simply an internally displaced person.  

“If you remember, you become a refugee once you cross an international frontier and if you have a valid claim for asylum.  We are endeavoring to help people on both sides.  UNHCR does help displaced people too.  We have a lot of assistance going to displaced people in other parts of Somalia, as you may know,” Edwards said.  

Edwards says a convoy of trucks delivered essential aid items for an estimated 18,500 newly arriving Somalis in the Gode area, 250 kilometers north of Dollo Ado, on Wednesday.  Distribution of the relief supplies - shelter material, blankets, sleeping mats and mosquito nets - is to begin shortly.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs