The next famine is impending – ReliefWeb

Increasing number of refugees in the Horn of Africa

by LKO, 2017/02/03

There is not enough water, more and more cattle is dying and food supplies are already short: for years now it has not rained sufficiently in the Horn of Africa and the fear is growing that this will lead to a recurrence of the latest famine, which claimed the lives of 260.000 people in 2011.

First concrete signs substantiate this concern. The refugee camps at the Ethopian-Somalian border in the Dollo Ado region register an alarming number of new arrivals from Somalia. „The high number of new refugees is extremely worrying and indicates the desperate situation of the people. Our present emergency planning includes recently updated scenarios of about 100.000 thousands of people arriving at our camp, who have to be provided for“, explains Raphael Marcus, Head of Emergency and Disaster Response at humedica.

According to reports of the United Nations in Somalia alone more than 1.1 million people suffer from acute water and food shortages these days. This number stands to be adjusted upwards daily and illustrates the impending danger of a new humanitarian disaster.

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“If also the coming rainy season does not bring sufficient rainfall, it will quite possibly result in a recurrence of the drought, followed by a famine like in 2011. We must use every means to prevent this scenario.“ Raphael Marcus, Head of Emergency and Disaster Response

How this extreme situation can change the lives of people illustrates the story of the Somalian refugee Sheik Ali and his family. First the father of three had to leave his Sunni community because of his profession as religious teacher to escape from the terrorist militia Al-Shabaab, then due to the famine in 2011 also his family was compelled to flee to Ethiopia. It took them two days to reach the refugee camp Melkadida, where they could be provided with life saving food and water.

When they tried to return to their home in 2013, it was Al-Shabaab once more, which forced the family to take up the nine-days walk back to Melkadida. Till date Sheik Ali and his family live in Zone Q of the refugee camp in two basic bamboo huts. They own no more than a thin goat and three bamboo stretchers. In the past the food provisions were scarce but sufficient. But now they are fearing famine again. Like millions of other people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

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At the two health stations, which are run by humedica in cooperation with the Foreign Office of Germany in the refugee camps Melkadida and Kobe, our employees have registered an increase of patients showing the typical signs of malnourishment for weeks now. In particular newly arrived children are affected by under- and malnourishment and need special care.

The people at the Horn of Africa still hope for sufficient rainfall in the upcoming rainy season to escape the threat of a famine and its dreadful consequences like terror, misery and flight. But the situation remains menacing.

Help is needed urgently. Please support our refugee relief aid in Ethiopia with your concrete donation. Thank you so much!

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