UNHCR in Somalia ‘human tragedy’ warning

6 07 2011

Many young children are in such a weak condition it is difficult to save their lives

The levels of malnutrition among children fleeing Somalia’s drought could lead to a “human tragedy of unimaginable proportions”, the UN refugee head Antonio Guterres has said.

Young children are dying on their way to or within a day of arrival at camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, the UNHCR says.

It estimates that a quarter of Somalis are either displaced within the country or living outside as refugees.

The drought is compounded by the violence in south and central Somalia.

The warning comes as the UK aid agencies Oxfam, Save the Children, and the Red Cross launch emergency appeals in response to the food crisis which is affecting more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa.

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