The World Food Programme is appealing for urgent funding to help feed refugees flocking
to camps in Kenya and Ethiopia in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa area. It says
the drought afflicting the region has left millions at the mercy of hunger and predicts
that the number of those who need food aid could rise from the current 6 million to
10 million in the coming months.
One person who has seen with his own eyes
the suffering caused by this drought crisis is David Orr, a spokesperson for the WFP.
He’s just returned from his latest visit to the refugee camps at Dadaab in northern
Kenya where more than a thousand Somalis are arriving each day, after trekking for
days or sometimes weeks, from their homeland. He spoke to Susy Hodges about the plight
of these refugees:
"Well, they're suffering considerably... they are walking
for days, sometimes for weeks, to reach the camps with very little food on their journey."
Orr says in addition to their lack of food and water, the refugees are often attacked
en route. "I met a family, half a village actually, who in addition to having very
little food on their journey, had been attacked by bandits and robbed of most of their
When asked if many people, especially children, die during this
long and dangerous journey, Orr replies: "we hear many stories from families who
arrive in Dadaab who have lost children along tthe way, I met one man who had buried
his wife just before they set out for Dadaab and along the way he buried one of his
children" ... Even after arriving at the camps, Orr says "children continue to die,
there's a very high rate of malnutrition."