(AFP) GENEVA — An average of ten children under the age of five die
every day from malnutrition and disease in Ethiopia’s Kobe refugee
camp, the UN’s refugee agency said Tuesday.
“Since the Kobe refugee camp opened in June, an average of 10 children
under the age of five have died every day,” according to Adrian
Edwards, a spokesman with the office of the UN’s High Commissioner for
“While malnutrition is the leading cause of the high mortality,
suspected measles is compounding the problem.
“The combination of disease and malnutrition is what has caused
similar death rates in previous famine crises in the region,” Edwards
Some 25,000 people are currently registered at the Kobe camp, part of
the 121,000-strong Dollo Ado refugee complex, Edwards explained,
saying the complex had more than doubled since the beginning of the
Edwards said a mass vaccination campaign targeting children between
the ages of six months and 15 years was completed at the Kobe camp on
“The majority of refugees arriving from Somalia are from rural areas,
and the camps in Ethiopia may be the first time they have been in
contact with formal health facilities,” he said.
Some 200 to 250 Somalis arrive at the refugee complex every day,
Edwards added, fleeing violence and what the United Nations has
described as the region’s worst drought in decades.