CRISIS IN EASTERN AFRICA

For Beginners

July 6th, 2011

By Abook Brian

Kenya

When you get to Daadab camp, all you can see is the the hot sun and the empty lands. This is what started the food crisis and has hurt more than 300,000 people in Eastern Africa who left their homes. The hungry children stand in line to get their meal of the day. Their mothers stand beside their broken tents with sad faces. All they really want is security and normal life. Welcome to Daadab refugee camp, located in the North Eastern part of Kenya in Eastern Africa.   It was built for about 90,000 people, but the camp has about 360,000 people. There is very few resources and everyone is trying to get them. This is the situation the world's largest refugee camp.

 

Eastern Africa can be Africa's economic powerhouse but it's not. Bad governments and bad use of money has started civil wars and droughts. Thousands of people are going into Daadab to find food, a place to sleep and security.  Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia are all affected by the dry weather that is now affecting about 10 million people. This drought is the worst in 60 years. As the Daadab refugee camp becomes full with more and more refugees, the size of the drought is very clear.

 

A report by Save the Children's Kenya Program says that about 1, 300 refugees arrive at the camp every day. More than 50% of the refugees are women and children who are sick because they had to walk a long time to get to the camp.  The camp is too small for all the people, so about 50,000 have to stay outside of the camp. These people are in danger because too much rain in one time could break some of the houses and kill people. The biggest number of people who came are from Somalia where there is only drought and civil war.

 

Organizations like CARE Kenya and World Food Program (WFP), who distribute food to the refugees, are now asking for additional funds. This is because they have very little water or food. The UNHCR says that almost 10,000 climate refugees arrive in the camp every week from the drought areas.

 

Many people are coming to Kenya but the situation there isn't great. Since the 2007/08 violence that happened after elections, the political situation has been OK. But, the nation has high inflation and more people are dying from the long drought in the North Eastern parts of Kenya. This isbad because the people who are coming from Samalia and Uganda have to pay a lot for the food and they live in bad dry weather.

 

The Kenyan government said that the drought is a a national disaster and Kenya's parliament wanted to imports genetically changed corn. But, the Agriculture Committee Chairman said "no" to this idea.

 

In other areas, nothing is better. In Ethiopia, the food prices are higher and in Somalia there is a civil war. In Uganda, the prices went up very quickly and the people started protesting. The government quickly stopped the protests.

 

The situation in the Daadab camp is very serious and worries organizations like the UNHCR, CARE, WFP, and OCHA. They are asking for donations from governments and other organizaitons.

 

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