UN: Children at Ethiopia Camp Dying at ‘Alarming’ Rate

Posted August 17th, 2011 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The U.N. refugee agency says children at an Ethiopian camp for Somali refugees are dying at an “alarming” rate.

The agency reports that an average of ten children under the age of five are dying each day at the Kobe refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia. It says malnutrition is the major cause of death but that a suspected measles outbreak is compounding the problems.

The camp in the Dollo Ado area opened in June for the thousands of Somalis fleeing drought, famine and fighting in their country.

The U.N. has declared a famine in five regions of southern Somalia and predicts it will spread throughout the entire south by the end of next month.

Foreign ministers of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation are meeting in Turkey on Wednesday to discuss ways to address the situation.

The representatives will talk about boosting assistance to Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region, which is experiencing the worst drought in six decades.

The United Nations says more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa are in urgent need of food aid.

In Somalia, where the situation is the most dire, the U.N. says as many as 3.2 million people are estimated to be on the brink of starvation.