Somalia is the hardest hit of the East African countries stricken by drought. The United Nations estimates that more than 3 million people are suffering from inadequate nutrition. And nearly 250,000 Somalis are at risk of starvation if immediate lifesaving interventions do not reach them.
A critical shortage of food in their communities has forced many Somalis to migrate to Ethiopia, Kenya, and to urban areas in Somalia. An estimated 1.5 million Somalis have been displaced in their own country, and an additional 320,000 have fled Somalia during the last year.
From July through October 2011 alone, the United Nations recorded the arrival of 50,000 Somalis. These numbers have swelled the already overcrowded Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya to a half a million people. Crowded conditions in Ethiopian and Kenyan camps, and in urban areas in Somalia, pose huge health concerns. Cases of cholera and measles outbreaks are on the rise.
Catholic Relief Services is working through local partners to provide nutritional support, health care and water to drought-affected Somalis.
All photos courtesy of CRS partner staff.