A new World Vision report indicates that nearly half of the children surveyed in drought-devastated northern Kenya had eaten no food for a full day. Those separated from their parents have fared even worse. Children are now begging by the roadside as they fight for survival, putting themselves at risk of violence and sexual abuse. Students are failing to attend class as they work on construction sites or walk with livestock to find pasture. Young girls are being married off to raise money.
Jon Warren, World Vision’s award-winning photo director, is traveling in East Africa to document the emergency hunger situation and highlight World Vision’s work in the region. The photos below are from Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, situated outside of Nairobi, Kenya. More than 400,000 Somalis — roughly the population of Miami, Florida — are amassed in Dabaab, escaping decades of conflict and a drought that has taken their crops and their livestock.
Drought refugees continue to flood into Dadaab camp in Kenya. Circumstances remain difficult, even when they reach the relative safety of the camp. Blowing sand adds to the misery at Dadaab.
Abraham, 8, is an orphan in a new country. Three months ago, his parents died in a car bombing in Somalia. Now, he lives in Dadaab refugee camp with kind relatives who brought him across the border to escape drought and famine.
Alihassan arrived at the camp a week ago. He is hungry and afraid of the wild animals outside his tent, especially the lions and the hyenas.
Awilya and her sons were robbed and assaulted by bandits on the journey, and they arrived at Dadaab with nothing.
Mohamed and Mariam Abdi register their family as refugees at the center. Little Halima, in Mariam's arms, was born two days ago. They will now receive food rations to help her survive.
"I was so happy to see that logo," says Dek with his daughter, Anab, 10. "I love World Vision." Dek used to teach for World Vision in Somalia until the agency, like many other organizations, was ordered to leave in August 2010. "When World Vision was chased away, life started to deteriorate," says Dek, who had taught his daughter to read and write. After a harrowing journey to Kenya, the family is hoping for change.
Workers prepare the grave for 3-year-old Ibrahim, who died from hunger-related causes. He is the third child they are burying today.
Dead cattle litter the area in varying states of decay.
Pray for children and families affected by this severe drought and the resulting food crisis. Pray that aid organizations like World Vision would gain access to those who need help the most.
Make a one-time gift to our Horn of Africa Food Crisis Fund. Your donation will multiply five times to help provide emergency food, healthcare, and other critical assistance to this suffering part of the world.
Read related post “The 5 W’s on drought and hunger in East Africa.”