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Twelve million Africans suffering through worst drought in 60 years

Thursday, July 14, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: drought, Africa, health news

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(NaturalNews) A severe drought that spans across several east-African countries including Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, has left at least 12 million Africans in a "fight for survival," according to a recent report from MSNBC. Representing the worst drought the region has experienced since the early 1950s, humanitarian efforts there are in full swing, as hundreds of thousands of refugees continue to migrate from the worst-hit areas to those that might offer some relief.

The report indicates that Dadaab, a small town located in northeast Kenya that was built as a refugee camp, currently holds about 380,000 refugees, with an additional 10,000 more flocking there each week. Originally built for 90,000 people, Dadaab, which is the largest refugee camp in the world, has exceeded its capacity by more than 400 percent with no end in sight.

Continual conflict and wars, escalating inflation, and rapidly-rising food costs, have forced many Africans in the region to migrate wherever necessary to find relief, even if it means relocating to other less-stricken, but still stricken areas. And according to Jane Cocking, humanitarian director of Oxfam International, an international relief organization, there are at least 12 million Africans in the area who are fighting just to survive.

While sending aid to such areas may not fix the root of the problem in eastern Africa, which goes much deeper than just the drought situation, it will help to provide temporary relief in the midst of extreme and extenuating circumstances. Oxfam told MSNBC that the organization hopes to raise $80 million for the current crisis, representing the largest amount for which it has ever petitioned.

As difficult as conditions are becoming even in the US, with worsening floods in the Midwest (http://www.naturalnews.com/032703_Midwest_fl...), droughts (http://www.naturalnews.com/031853_Texas_drou...), wildfires (http://www.naturalnews.com/032871_wildfires_...), and other extreme weather events, it is important to remember that individuals around the world are also suffering and in need, and not to forget about them.

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