News / Africa

UN Team Responds to Somalis Fleeing Famine

In this Saturday, Aug.13, 2011 photo released by the UNHCR severely malnourished children look on at the Al-Adala internally displaced people settlement in Mogadishu, Somalia
In this Saturday, Aug.13, 2011 photo released by the UNHCR severely malnourished children look on at the Al-Adala internally displaced people settlement in Mogadishu, Somalia

The U.N. refugee agency says it has sent an emergency team to Ethiopia's Gode area, where there is a new influx of Somalis fleeing their famine-hit country.

The agency said Tuesday that about 18,000 Somalis have gathered in the area, located about 250 kilometers north of Somali refugee camps in the Dollo Ado area.

The team will register the newly-arrived refugees, identify their needs and deliver aid.  The agency says a larger aid shipment will be sent from Addis Ababa by the end of the week.

The emergency team will also transfer refugees who are willing to go to Dollo Ado.

The Dollo Ado camps opened in June to help tens of thousands of refugees who were pouring in from Somalia to escape famine, drought and conflict.

Refugee camps have also been set up in Kenya and international aid agencies are assisting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in Somalia.

The United Nations says more than 12 million people need urgent aid in the Horn of Africa, which is experiencing its worst drought in six decades.

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