While we fill ourselves at the dinner table iftaar time, more than 11 million people are affected across the region in different parts of the horn of Africa. It is believed to be the worst famine in sixty years. A prolonged failure of rains is now taking its toll in the horn of Africa. The UN now classifies large areas of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya as a crisis or an emergency.
Charity Save the Children says drought and war in Somalia has led to unprecedented numbers fleeing across the border into Kenya, with about 1,300 people arriving every day.
Three camps at Dadaab, just inside Kenya, are home to well over 350,000 people, but they were built to hold just 90,000 and are severely overcrowded. (BBC NEWS)
A new refugee camp primarily for Somalis was opened at Kobe in Ethiopia last Friday, near an existing camp at Melkadida. More than 3,500 refugees and their belongings were moved there over the weekend.
Food prices have risen substantially across the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge. “Eighty percent of the refugees are children and the majority of the remainder are women,” says Duncan Harvey, Save the Children’s aid agency deputy country director in Ethiopia.
“This is the worst food crisis of the 21st century and we are seriously concerned that large numbers of lives could soon be lost. People have already lost virtually everything and the crisis is only going to get worse over the coming months,” ” said Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s humanitarian director.
We ask Allah to ease the plight of these people. While we choose which savory to eat at iftaar let us spare a du’a and not forget these unfortunate souls. Allah save us from such a catastrophe.