August 11, 2011, Mogadishu, Somalia]----As the deadly famine continue to ravage the Horn of Africa, world aid agencies try desperately to reach hard hit areas in South Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Trying to feed 3.6 million people in Somalia alone, who are starving and dehydrated, is a daunting task. Couple that with security issues and the problem magnifies sharply.
Reporting from that drought-sricken part of the globe on Thursday, CNN's Anderson Cooper stressed the need for more aid. The World Food organisation says they are running out of food and time is the enemy right now. Many children reach the camps after exhausting long treks and are past the stage of help.
600,000 children are at risk of starving to death. I watched a family sitting listlessly as most people are doing, spent from the devastation around them and beyond. This family was sitting next to a tiny brown bundle. Underneath was their dead one year old baby girl. This is the third and last child to die. Their entire family wiped out in a single swoop by the deadly famine. To make it even more heart-breaking, the parents cannot afford to bury their dead baby so they just sit and stare hopelessly. Waiting.
The horrors of starvation and death is palpable on the faces of the sick children and their loved ones sitting or lying in the over-crowded hospital.
Doctors at the refugee camps are working hard trying to prevent this but it is difficult under the stringent conditions. Hospitals and make-shift medical facilities are filled to capacity and beyond. Limited supplies and personnel are an additional problem.
Moreover, the security, especially in Mogadishu, remains unstable. Even though Al Shabaab, the Islāmic rebel group, has withdrawn from the City after 4 long years of fighting, the African Union Peacekeepers and forces for the interim government cannot provide adequate protection and maintain law and order, reported Reuters.
Pockets of fighting are still occurring and last week 7 people were killed by alleged government forces fighting over food. Refugees at the camp accused the government troops of starting the violence and stealing food meant to feed the hungry.
In a glimmer of hope though, the United nations food agency were able to reach more areas than they were able to do in the past, reported Reuters.
Stanlake Samkange, the World Food Program Regional Director, speaking on the ongoing crisis, said, "We have, over the last month, gained additional access to areas which previously we were not able to operate in."
The UN says this is the worst humanitarian crisis of 2011 where over 29,000 children have died in just 90 days and that $1.2 billion is needed to fight it.
A small donation of $7, provides therapeutic food for a malnourished child.
The following charities are accepting donations online:
The British Red Cross
The Kenya Red Cross
Save The Children
International Rescue Committee
The ELCA World Hunger Relief
The U.N. Children's Fund
International Medical Corps
There are several crises presently ravaging many around the globe and we may all suffer from what I like to call a little CBO--'Crisis Burn-Out' but we cannot turn our backs on innocent, dying children. so choose who you want to donate to and give whatever you can afford. Every little token counts.
To read more, click here:How You Can Help: Somalia Famine Relief