Horn of Africa Close to Famine

An estimated 12M people in jeopardy
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2011 4:03 PM CDT
Food Crisis in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia: Global Aid Organizations Warn of Famine
A Somali man who fled violence and drought in Somalia with his family sits on the ground outside a food distribution point in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya on July 5, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A lack of rain and rising world prices have left an estimated 12 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia in dire need of food, the Telegraph reports. The reality is especially difficult to ignore in Dadaab, a city in northern Kenya experiencing its second-lowest rainfall in 60 years. Dadaab is home to the world’s biggest refugee camp, which is built for 90,000 but may soon have to accommodate five times that many. About 1,300 people are streaming in every day, mostly from Somalia.

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“It is very close to a famine,” says a director for a Somali aid agency. An Oxfam official calls it “the worst food crisis of the 21st century," adding that "two successive poor rains, entrenched poverty, and lack of investment in affected areas have pushed 12 million people into a fight for survival." The Oxfam site has more information and ways to help here. (Read more food prices stories.)

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