Business, Economics and Jobs

Somalis Flee To Kenyan Refugee Camps

A malnourished refugee child lays in a ward of the Medecins Sans Frontieres Hospital in the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

Credit:

Oli Scarff

Somalia's famine has already killed tens of thousands of people and is expected to spread across the south of the country in the coming weeks as a lack of rain and a lack of political will have combined to create a massive humanitarian catastrophe, threatening millions of lives.

The Horn of Africa region has been parched by the worst drought in 60 years. The United Nations now estimates that 12.4 million people are facing severe food shortages and are in desperate need of aid.

Somalian refugees, fleeing the drought, arrived bedraggled, exhausted and often bereaved in Dadaab, Kenya, where an overcrowded complex of camps, built for 90,000, now houses about 400,000 people. The Somalis arriving at the refugee camps are the lucky ones, however. Many succumbed to exhaustion, dehydration and hunger during the long and brutal trek to get there.

While the United Nations says $2.5 billion is needed to alleviate the suffering, only a little over $1 billion has so far been committed by donor nations.

Listen to an interview with photographer Oli Scarff who was recently at the Dadaab refugee camp:

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  • Somalian refugees wait in the registration area of the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • A malnourished refugee child lays in a ward of the Medecins Sans Frontieres Hospital in the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • Somalian refugee Baar Abdi Khalif rests in her homemade shelter with her 20 day old baby on part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • Two Somalian refugees build a hut from sticks on the outskirts of the Ifo refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • An aerial view of the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 19, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • Somali refugees who recently crossed the border from Somalia into southern Ethiopia cluster between two food tents as they wait to be called to collect food aid at the Kobe refugee camp on July 19, 2011.

    Credit:

    Roberto Schmidt

  • Refugees stand at the razor-wire fence of the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 19, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • An elderly refugee rests in the Ifo refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 20, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • A relief worker carries a bag of food aid stockpiled in a tent at the Kobe refugee camp on July 19, 2011 in southern Ethiopia.

    Credit:

    Roberto Schmidt

  • A Somali refugee child eats a biscuit ration in the registration area part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • An elderly Somali refugee woman holds a high-energy biscuit ration at the entrance to the registration area of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • A dead cow lies on the ground near the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 21, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • Somalian refugees wait outside the registration area of the Dagahaley refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • With a serious overcrowding issue at Dadaab refugee camp, registration into the camp takes many days. This mother and child suffer from hunger and thirst on July 23, 2011 as they wait for their turn to register.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • Somalian refugee children collect firewood on the edge of the Ifo refugee camp on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • A young Somali refugee stands next to her family's shelter in Dadaab on July 31, 2011.

    Credit:

    Tony Karumba

  • A worker carries sacks of food in to the World Food Program warehouses on the edge of the IFO refugee camp on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • A girl suffering from a skin condition is treated in Ifo Hospital on on the outskirts of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 19, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Oli Scarff

  • A young Somali refugee gets vaccinated at a pediatric vaccination centre at Hagadere refugee site within the Dadaab refugee settlement on August 1, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya.

    Credit:

    Tony Karumba

  • Newly registered Somali refugees are assisted by an aid worker (L) to fit shoes that have been donated at a registration centre at the Dadaab refugee settlement in eastern Kenya on July 23, 2011.

    Credit:

    Tony Karumba

  • Haway Mohamed, 44, walks with her four year old son, Noor, toward the tent they now call home at the Kobe refugee camp near the Ethiopia-Somalia border on July 19, 2011.

    Credit:

    Roberto Schmidt

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