VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Dadaab, Kenya: Refugees from the drought
July 15, 2011 by Sophia Jones-Mwangi
|Fatuma, 25, arrived in Dadaab refugee camp four days ago by car with her mother and her five children. Photo: Sophia Jones-Mwangi/IRC|
The International Rescue Committee is scaling up relief efforts to aid people hit hard by the drought -- the worst in 60 years -- that is devastating much of Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Each day, more than 1,200 people are arriving in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya from Somalia. Exhausted and hungry, many are settling outside the camp in flimsy shelters. The IRC is augmenting teams that provide new arrivals at Dadaab and other refugee camps with medical screening and assistance and give fortified food to malnourished young children.
Yesterday, I spent the day speaking with some of the families who arrived this week. Fatuma, 25, (above) came by car with her mother and her five children. The young widow gave birth to her baby girl, Shire, on her way here. The family arrived without luggage -- it was stolen from the parked car late one night as they slept.