There are over 150 refugee camps in the Horn of Africa trying to do the impossible, feed millions when they have little to no food.
At the end of July the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Mr. Erastus Mwencha visited the region saying that Somalia is one of the most dangerous areas in the world to live. He paid tribute to the African soldiers who are fighting the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
“Somalia remains one of the most dangerous places in the world and I would like to praise the efforts of the African soldiers, who are here risking their lives to uphold the rule of law. I am taking note of your requests and the support you need to complete this operation successfully,” he declared in a press release.
Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim is one of those who has just returned from the refugee camps that will stay for him forever. The mission touched him on a personal level as a father.
“It is terrible to see how unfair the world is. There are three-year-olds here who weigh less than a newborn baby. Many of the children I've met will probably not survive. I am a father myself, and this overwhelming tragedy has made an indelible impression on me,” said Mr Solheim.
It's hard to come to grips with the fact that more than 12 million people are dealing with hunger in the refugee camps throughout the Horn of Africa. As thousands pour into the camps each day the rest of the world is trying to find a way to tend for so many of their global family that face a world without food.
“In Somalia alone, there are 640 000 acutely malnourished children. I don't think any of us can really take in the scale of this disaster,” said Mr Solheim in a press release.
“The challenges in Somalia are huge. In the long term, only a political solution can lift the country out of the difficulties it is in. But now the international community must provide help to address the acute humanitarian crisis,” urged Mr Solheim in a press release.
Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini helped to arrange an air-lift into the Dadaab camps in Kenya on August 3. The rice, corn, oil, flour, sugar, legumes and UHT milk was given to the 440,000 residents in the camp.
Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Kenya with Senator Bill Frist, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz, and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith were in the regions this past week. Their visit will focus on the famine that they observe and highlight the urgent needs of those in the camps to discuss ways that the United States can best assist the people affected.
While some may question if their is a global change in the climate that change is evident in the region. There are longer periods of drought. Last year a rainy season failed to appear at all. The climate conditions are not the only factor in the region. The al-Shabaab has taken past aid sent into the regions denying those in need. Because of that past many nations including the United States have fears
that aid sent into the Horn of Africa will not reach those in dire straits.