Kenya: Help Stop Rape of Somali Refugees

Donor fatigue no excuse for giving up: Kristof
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2011 1:45 PM CDT
In this photo taken Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, Somali refugees carry firewood to a refugee camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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(Newser) – The severe famine gripping Somalia is not only starving millions of people, it's creating "an instance of mass rape" for refugees fleeing into Kenya, writes Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times. About 1,000 a day are forced to trek 50 miles from the border to a refugee camp in Dadaab, often falling prey to bandits on the way. "One obvious solution is to establish reception centers along the border, and then bus refugees to Dadaab," writes Krifstof. "Kenya isn’t embracing that idea, however, for fear of an even larger Somali influx."

Kristof sympathizes, but insists international aid groups must be allowed to open reception centers to stop the violence. He also repudiates readers who say it's pointless to help families that bear more children than the society can afford to feed. "Somalis have eight children partly because they know that several may die," writes Kristof. "If we help save lives now so that parents can be confident their kids will survive, family size will drop."

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