Worst drought in over 60 years might spread famine in Africa

"Nearly 12 million people living in this region are under threat of hunger and malnutrition. Half of Somalia's 10 million population is at risk particularly in the country's Bakool and lower Shabelle," a member of Turkey's Humanitarian Relief Foundation board, Huseyin Oruc, told Anadolu Agency here.

Oruc said the crisis could in two months engulf entire Somalia, Kenya's northern parts and Ethiopia's eastern regions if immediate action was not taken with an estimated aid worth USD 1.6 billion, according to the UN's projections.

"We have been here for a long time and this is the worst crisis we have ever seen in this region. People have to walk miles before they can find food and water. They are living in makeshift tents in a refugee camp which looks more like a concentration camp," Oruc said.

There are nearly 600 thousand people living in the Dadaab Refugee Camp which was originally built to host only 90 thousand. Each day 1,600 more arrive in this camp in the hope of finding food and water, most of them are women and children. Relief workers in the camp prioritise transferring children to hospitals.

"One out of every six children dies in the region. Thirteen thousand children wouldn't have died if relief had come a few months earlier," Oruc said.

Oruc said Turkey's aid to the region played a leading role for the rest of the international community, adding that a planned visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Somalia showed that Turkey was fully engaged in extending help to the country

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