Friday, January 19th, 2018

Somali refugees in Ethiopia face ration cuts before March, World Food Program appeals for $27m in aid

Some walked for days to escape the threat of Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group and the desperation of drought. But the problems for more than 200,000 Somali refugees are far from over.

Now huddled in five sprawling camps in Ethiopia, the refugees face ration cuts in the coming months unless more international support arrives.

Their plight is often overlooked in a region where hunger and conflict in Somalia and South Sudan put millions at risk.

“The projection we have is that our already reduced aid handout for these Somali refugees is sustainable only up to March 2018,” Edward Moyo with the World Food Program (WFP) said.

“How are we going to explain to a pregnant mother who has a number of other children that we are going to cut her ration beyond what she’s already going through?”

In nutrition centres across the camp that is home to nearly 40,000 refugees, health workers say they are seeing a growing number of Somali children with malnutrition.

And yet the number of new arrivals from Somalia continues to grow, at a rate of as high as 1,000 a day.

The parched landscape, dotted with refugee shelters made of bamboo and corrugated metal, leaves no possibility for the refugees to attempt feeding themselves by other means.

“I fled Somalia fearing Al Shabaab militants and the severe drought there,” Rukia Mohammed Osman, 37, a mother of eight who fled the Gedo region in Somalia’s south, said.

“My husband is a disabled person so I had no choice but to leave,” she said.

Source:ABC News

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