"Worst Humanitarian Disaster of This Year"

50% of Somali Refugee Children Suffer from Severe Malnutrition

Relentless violence inside Somalia compounded by the worst drought in 60 years has forced more than 25% of Somalia's people to flee their homes, "turning one of the world's worst humanitarian crises into a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions,” according to António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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Donate now to help children like nine-month-old Zakariah receive treatment against severe malnutrition.  Photo © UNHCR/R. Gangale

Right now, Ethiopia and Kenya are seeing a massive influx of refugees – more than 1,000 new refugees pour into camps each day. Already this year, 135,000 Somalis have fled their country; 54,000 in June alone.  

Many have walked up to 30 days to reach safety, and the impact on children is devastating. Up to 50% of Somali children arriving are seriously malnourished. Utterly exhausted, some are dying within 24 hours of reaching safety despite emergency care. Mortality rates are alarmingly high.

Please support UNHCR’s emergency refugee relief in Kenya and Ethiopia and help us respond to this mounting crisis.   Your gift will enable us to provide shelter, food, water and protection for thousands of new refugees as well as to set up desperately-needed new camps.

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After a site visit on July 8th, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees warned that humanitarian efforts to help newly arriving Somali refugees in south-east Ethiopia are at risk of being overwhelmed without a more rapid and robust international response to this critical situation.

“2011 has been the year of all crises, but I think that in Somalia we can find the worst humanitarian disaster of this year,” said António Guterres.  25% of Somalia’s 7.5 million people are now forcibly displaced.

Currently, the number of arrivals in the Dollo Ado area is outpacing registration capacity. Systems for meeting the food and health needs are close to buckling. Electricity for pumping water to camps is in short supply because overcast skies mean solar panels can’t produce enough energy. A new camp in the area, at Kobe, was opened several weeks ago. But it is already nearing its full capacity of 20,000 people. All of these problems can be addressed if we receive adequate resources.

You can help save lives. Your generous contribution will help people who are streaming into our camps with nothing but the clothes they wear.

Your urgently-needed gift will make a difference:

  • $1,000 will provide shelter for up to 60 people.
  • $200 will provide an all-weather tent to shelter a refugee family.
  • $100 will provide a refugee with a survival kit containing a blanket, a mattress, a kitchen set, a stove and soap.
  • $50 will provide a therapeutic feeding kit to help feed five children.

Already we have delivered 100 tons of aid to Ethiopia by air. Now, a land convoy of 20 trucks loaded with thousands of tents is on the way. We know that the needs will only increase, so we are asking for your help today.

Your support can help save lives and protect refugees. 

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