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Africa

Famine strikes Eastern Africa

Somali refugees are seeking shelter in Mogadishu and Kenya from extreme drought and hunger in what the UN's refugee agency is calling the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.

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Families from southern Somalia wait for food rations at Maalin refugee camp at Hawlwadag district in Mogadishu on September 15, 2011. Somalia is the country worst affected by a severe drought in east Africa and the Horn that has left some 13 million people in danger of starvation. The United Nations last week declared that famine had spread to a sixth region in southern Somalia and warned that it was likely to extend further in the coming four months.AFP PHOTO/ABDURASHID ABIKAR (Photo credit should read ABDURASHID ABIKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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epa02900176 Somali refugees stand in midst of the graves in a makeshift graveyard at Ifo camp, one of three refugee camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, 05 September 2011. Although the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the number of refugees arriving in Dadaab in August was slightly less than in July, the number continues to be as high as 1,200 per day. On 05 September 2011, the United Nations declared a famine in another region of Somalia. The country's Southern Bay region is now the sixth areas to be in famine. The UN refugee agency says 750,000 people are facing the risk of death in next four months. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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epa02901719 Somali refugee children sit in a circle with wooden boards inscribed with lines from the Koran to recite the holly book in the outskirts of Ifo camp, one of three refugee camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, 06 September 2011. Although the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the number of refugees arriving in Dadaab in August was slightly less than in July, the number continues to be as high as 1,200 per day. On 05 September 2011, the United Nations declared a famine in another region of Somalia. The country's Southern Bay region is now the sixth areas to be in famine. The UN refugee agency says 750,000 people are facing the risk of death in next four months. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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Image: South African Relief Group Reaches Refugees In Famine Stricken Somalia

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: ( SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Somalian women queue for food at the Gift Of The Givers make-shift feeding centre on September 10, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. South African based disaster relief organisation Gift Of The Givers is on a relief mission to provide medical assistance and food aid to the desperate famine stricken people of Somalia. (Photo by The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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Image: South African Relief Group Reaches Refugees In Famine Stricken Somalia

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Tahliil Hussan holds an X-ray that shows the bullet still lodged in his abdomen at the Forlanini Hospital on September 11, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia.This is the Gift Of The Givers Foundation's second mercy mission to Somalia, where they will provide medical services and food aid to the famine stricken Somalia. This delegation includes doctors, nurses, dieticians and other medical personnel. (Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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epa02900182 A newly arrived Somali refugee boy tries to drink from a cup as he waits in line with his mother at a refugee reception center at Hagadera camp, one of three refugee camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, 05 September 2011. Although the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the number of refugees arriving in Dadaab in August was slightly less than in July, the number continues to be as high as 1,200 per day. On 05 September 2011, the United Nations declared a famine in another region of Somalia. The country's Southern Bay region is now the sixth areas to be in famine. The UN refugee agency says 750,000 people are facing the risk of death in next four months. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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epa02900134 A newly arrived Somali refugee woman sobs as she is confined inside a makeshift cell for not following the procedures at a refugee reception center at Hagadera camp, one of three refugee camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, 05 September 2011. Although the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the number of refugees arriving in Dadaab in August was slightly less than in July, the number continues to be as high as 1,200 per day. On 05 September 2011, the United Nations declared a famine in another region of Somalia. The country's Southern Bay region is now the sixth areas to be in famine. The UN refugee agency says 750,000 people are facing the risk of death in next four months. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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epa02900164 Somali refugees bury a body of three-month-old baby girl Halima Hassan Yarow who died from malnutrition at Ifo camp, one of three refugee camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee complex in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, 05 September 2011. Although the latest figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the number of refugees arriving in Dadaab in August was slightly less than in July, the number continues to be as high as 1,200 per day. On 05 September 2011, the United Nations declared a famine in another region of Somalia. The country's Southern Bay region is now the sixth areas to be in famine. The UN refugee agency says 750,000 people are facing the risk of death in next four months. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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Image: Refugees load their belongings onto trucks as they choose to relocate to the newly-opened Kambioos settlement, at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp

Refugees who have been living in the outskirts of the proper camps in Hagadera rush to load their belongings onto trucks as they choose to relocate to the newly-opened Kambioos settlement, at Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp, situated northeast of the capital Nairobi near the Somali border, August 29, 2011. The UN High Commission for Refugees continues to regularly log more than 1,000 new arrivals from Somalia each day as the region's famine crisis continues. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (SOCIETY POVERTY)
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Image: Men make donations, to help the people of Somalia, in Riyadh

Men make donations, to help the people of Somalia, in Riyadh August 22, 2011. A famine has swept across the Horn of Africa nation, leaving at least 3.7 million Somalis at risk of starvation. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: SOCIETY)
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Image: BESTPIX  Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 20: Weak and malnourished, Hassan Ali Musa, 4, sits with his father Iisa Ali Musa at the Banadir hospital on August 20, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 Somalis have fled to Mogadishu from famine and drought in the countryside. The US government says that 30,000 children have died in Somalia due to the crisis in the last three months. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
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Image: Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 18: People cheer as cooked food is brought out at a feeding center for Somalis displaced by drought and famine on August 18, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have fled the countryside to Mogadishu in the last two months due to the crisis. Some 1.5 million Somalis are estimated displaced nationwide due to drought, famine and war. The UN is investigating an AP report that thousands of sacks of food aid for famine victims have been stolen and are for sale on the open market. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Image: Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 18: A famine refugee plays next to a camp for Somalis displaced by drought and famine on August 18, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have fled their villages to Mogadishu in the last two months due to the crisis. Some 1.5 million Somalis are estimated displaced nationwide due to drought, famine and war. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Image: Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 18: A security guard beats a woman for trying to enter a feeding center at a camp for Somalis displaced by drought and famine on August 18, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have fled the countryside to Mogadishu in the last two months due to the crisis. Some 1.5 million Somalis are estimated displaced nationwide due to drought, famine and war. The UN is investigating an AP report that thousands of sacks of food aid for famine victims have been stolen and are for sale on the open market. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Image: Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 17: Somalis receive medical treatment at an outpatient hospital run by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), on August 17, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. More than 10,000 people are treated monthly at AMISOM's three hospitals in Mogadishu. Ugandan doctors there say that increasingly many of the ailments, especially among children, are related to malnutrition. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have fled to Mogadishu in the last months due to famine and drought conditions in the countryside. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Image: Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 16: A security guard stands vigil outside a feeding center on August 16, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The center, which serves up cooked meals prepared from World Food Program aid, helps feed thousands of Somalis who have fled famine and drought in the countryside and have settled in makeshift camps throughout the Mogadishu. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Image: An internally displaced Somali woman attends to her malnourished son at the Banadir hospital in Somalia's capital Mogadishu

An internally displaced Somali woman attends to her malnourished son at the Banadir hospital in Somalia's capital Mogadishu August 16, 2011. Somalia called for the creation of a new force to protect food aid convoys and camps in the famine-hit country, and declared a state of emergency in parts of Mogadishu. REUTERS/Ismail Taxta (SOMALIA - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS HEALTH)
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Relatives of Hassan Abdulkadir Adan,3rd left rear, from southern Somalia help to lower the body of his 7-year-old son into a grave in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. The World Food Program said Saturday that it is expanding food distribution efforts in famine-ravaged Somalia, where the U.N. has estimated that only 20 percent of people needing aid are able to receive it because an al-Qaida-linked group controls large portions of the country.(AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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Image: Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 16: A mother mourns the death of her son at the Banadir hospital on August 16, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The hospital has been overwhelmed by new patients, as sickness spreads through camps for people displaced by drought and famine. The US government estimates that some 30,000 children have died in southern Somalia in the last 90 days from the crisis. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Image: A Somali boy receives a ration of cornmeal in Mogadishu

A Somali boy receives a ration of cornmeal in Mogadishu on August 15, 2011, in the courtyard of a Somali Non-governmental Organization who is partnered with the World Food Program and who serves about 1,000 people daily with a hot meal. Over 100,000 people have fled into Somalia's famine-hit and war-torn capital in the past two months in search of food, water and medicine. Some 12 million people in parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia are in danger of starvation in the wake of the region's worst drought in decades. War-wracked Somalia is the country hardest hit by the Horn of Africa's drought, with five areas declared to be experiencing famine. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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TOPSHOTS Mulmillo (L) closes the eyes of her two-year-old son Mahmud moments after he died from malnutrition and related complications at a local hospital in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on August 15, 2011. Mulmillo, her husband and three children fled their village in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia and came to Mogadishu in search for a refuge from a severe drought in the region. More than 100,000 people have fled to Mogadishu from other drought-struck Somalia regions in search of food and water, but insecurity in one of the world's most dangerous cities is hampering aid flows. Some 12 million people in parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia are in danger of starvation in the wake of the region's worst drought in decades. AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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Image: BESTPIX  Somali Famine Refugees Seek Aid In Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - AUGUST 14: Halima Hassan holds her severely malnourished son Abdulrahman Abshir, 7 months, at the Banadir hospital on August 14, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The US government estimates that some 30,000 children have died in southern Somalia in the last 90 days due to famine and drought. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
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TOPSHOTS-A group of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) gather inside a courtyard after they were designated to receive food aid from an Kuwaiti based Islamic charity in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on August 14, 2011. Over 100,000 people have fled into Somalia's famine-hit and war-torn capital in the past two months in search of food, water and medicine. Conflict-wracked Somalia is the country hardest hit by the extreme drought affecting 12 million people across the Horn of Africa. The United Nations has officially declared famine in Somalia for the first time this century, including in Mogadishu and four southern regions. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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A Somali boy sings an Irish song to his classmates during class at the Illeys primary school in Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response.About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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A Somali lady stands with several jerry cans of water, ready to be transported by camel in the town of Dhobley on August 11, 2011. Idman is suffering from malaria and severe malnutrition, but his parents have no money to buy him drugs. With no health facilities in the region, the family are hoping to cross to Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex, some 100km away. Hundreds fleeing drought and famine-hit areas elsewhere in southern Somalia stream daily into the small town of simple tin shacks and huts. Although Dhobley is just five kilometres (three miles) from the Kenyan border, the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex -- the largest in the world with more than 400,000 people -- is still a tough 100-kilometre walk ahead. AFP PHOTO/PHIL MOORE (Photo credit should read PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images)
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epa02861039 Ethnic Turkana children sing and dance at Kalokutanyang Mobile School as aid workers arrive to inspect them in Kalokutanyang, Turkana, northwestern Kenya, 09 August 2011. A local official says that relief food has not reached many parts of the Turkana region where more than half the population is dependent on relief food, resulting in increasing child malnutrition rate up to some 37 percent. Worsening drought is also exacerbating a cross-border armed conflict between Turkana pastoralists and Merille militiamen over resources such as Lake Turkana. At least 12 Turkanas were killed in an attack by militiamen from Ethiopia on 08 August. According to the United Nations, almost three million people in Kenya, including half a million refugees from Somalia, are in need of food assistance amid the worsening drought. Turkana in the northwestern region is the hardest-hit area in Kenya. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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A child stands in front of her home at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, Thursday, Aug 4, 2011. Dadaab, a camp designed for 90,000 people now houses around 440,000 refugees. Almost all are from war-ravaged Somalia. Some have been here for more than 20 years, when the country first collapsed into anarchy. But now more than 1,000 are arriving daily, fleeing fighting or hunger(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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A Somali father with his daughter sits at the head of a queue wuith other refugees at a registration centre on August 2, 2011 at Dagahaley refugee site within the Dadaab complex after having been displaced from their home in southern Somalia by a famine that is ravaging the horn of Africa region. An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia -- around a third of the population -- are on the brink of starvation and aid agencies are stretched in trying to cope with a daily influx of Somali's escaping not only drought but the al-Shabab extremists who have turned taken advantage of the famine to forcefully arrest and recruit men trying to escape the famine. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Image: Famine and Drought in Kenya

epa02853356 A handout picture provided by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on 03 August 2011 shows residents of Mwingi District fetch water from a muddy puddle, one of the only sources of clean water, in Kenya, 02 August 2011. More areas of East Africa would be hit by famine as drought conditions worsen, United Nations officials warned on 02 August 2011. Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa, including areas in Ethiopia and Uganda, were also seeing the food situation worsen. Of particular concern were herders, whose livestock was perishing. EPA/KEN OLOO/RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES/HO HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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A woman from southern Somalia holds her malnourished children at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. The United Nations says famine will probably spread to all of southern Somalia within a month and force tens of thousands more people to flee into the capital of Mogadishu. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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epa02852106 Somali refugee men sit around a makeshift grave for fellow refugee Husein Mahalin who died at the age of twenty due to illness outside the Ifo camp, one of three camps that make up sprawling Dadaab refugee camp in Dadaab, northeastern Kenya, 01 August 2011. More than 1,000 refugees fleeing conflict and hunger in their country are arriving daily at already packed Dadaab camp, which was designed to accommodate 90,000 refugees. The camp now hosts over 400,000 and the population is on the rise with ever increasing influx of new arrivals from Somalia. The Kenyan government remains reluctant to open the new camp Ifo 2, saying the influx of more refugees is a security risk to the country. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA
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A young Somali refugee gets vaccinated at a paediatric vaccination centre at Hagadere refugee site within the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya's north-east province on August 1, 2011. The children of Somali refugees who have arrived in Kenyan in great number recently are being vaccinated against polio and measles. An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia -- around a third of the population -- are on the brink of starvation and millions more in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been affected by the worst drought in the region in 60 years. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
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A young boy from southern Somalia takes cover under a plastic sheet in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sunday, July 31, 2011. Tens of thousands of famine-stricken Somali refugees were cold and drenched after torrential rains overnight pounded their makeshift structures in the capital, Mogadishu. Rains are needed to plant crops and alleviate the drought that is causing famine in Somalia but on Saturday night the rains added to the misery of refugees who live in structures made of sticks and pieces of cloth. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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Warehouse attendant carry bags of goods donated during a funds drive by the Somali-community living in Kenya's capital, to aid Somali refugees in Kenya's north-easterly province at the Dadaab refugee complex, on July 29, 2011 in Nairobi. The African Union says on July 31 it will host a donors conference for Somali drought victims in Addis Ababa on August 9 as tens of thousands have died in recent months, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation. Somalia is the worst-affected country, with some 1.25 million children in need of urgent life saving care, according to UNICEF. This month, the UN declared famine in two areas of the country, the first time famine has been announced this century. AFP PHOTO / Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Image: A newly arrived Somali refugee is forced out of the queue outside a reception centre in the Ifo 2 refugee camp in Dadaab

A newly arrived Somali refugee is forced out of the queue outside a reception centre in the Ifo 2 refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, July 28, 2011. Thousands of Somalis fleeing drought, famine and war have started moving into a new extension of the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya, which is increasingly concerned about bearing the brunt of the Horn of Africa crisis. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (KENYA - Tags: SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST DISASTER HEALTH)
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A severely malnourished Somali child receives Oral Rehydration Salts [O.R.S.] at Mogadishu's Banadir hospital on July 28, 2011. Somalia where an estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia, around a third of the population, are on the brink of starvation. Heavy fighting broke out today in the Somali capital Mogadishu as government forces backed by African Union troops launched an assault on an insurgent stronghold. The clashes come just a day after the UN World Food Programme began an airlift of emergency relief into the war-torn capital, to bring supplies for thousands at risk of starvation from an extreme drought in the Horn of Africa. AFP PHOTO/Mustafa ABDI (Photo credit should read MUSTAFA ABDI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Men unload the first airlifted humanitarian food-aid which arrived at the Aden Abdulle Osman International Airport in Mogadishu, on July 27, 2011. The World Food Programme airlifted 10 tonnes of emergency supplies to Mogadishu to feed thousands of malnourished children in drought-hit Somalia. Somalia is the Horn of Africa country worst affected by a prolonged drought -- the region's worst in 60 years -- that has put some 12 million people in danger of starvation and spurred a global fund-raising campaign. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Feisal Omar (Photo credit should read Feisal Omar/AFP/Getty Images)
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Children drink water from the same place as cattle at town of Liboi, Kenya, Wednesday, July 27, 2011. UNICEF says it is trying to vaccinate more than 300,000 children in Kenya in an emergency program designed to prevent an outbreak of disease as refugees stream into northern Kenya from famine-hit Somalia.(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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A doctor examines Mihag Gedi Farah, a seven-month-old child with a weight of 7.5lbs (3.4kg), in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, Tuesday, July 26, 2011. The U.N. will airlift emergency rations this week to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia to keep hungry refugees from dying along what an official calls the "roads of death." Tens of thousands already have trekked to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, hoping to get aid in refugee camps.
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Used food tins are stacked at a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, Tuesday, July 26, 2011. The U.N. will airlift emergency rations this week to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia that militants banned it from more than two years ago, in a crisis intervention to keep hungry refugees from dying along what an official calls the "roads of death." Tens of thousands already have trekked to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, hoping to get aid in refugee camps.(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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A malnourished child from southern Somalia is weighed in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sunday, July 24, 2011. The World Food Program can't reach 2.2 million Somalis in desperate need of aid in militant-controlled areas of Somalia, WFP's director said Saturday, meaning refugee camps in nearby Kenya and Ethiopia are likely to continue seeing thousands of new refugees each week. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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A general view of the Dadaab Refugee camp in eastern Kenya, where the influx of Somali's displaced by a ravaging famine remains high, on July 23, 2011. The European Union Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has vowed to do all that is possible to help 12 million people struggling from extreme drought across the Horn of Africa, boosting aid by 27.8 million euros ($40 million). The funds come on top of almost 70 million euros ($100 million) the bloc has already contributed as assistance in the worst regional drought in decades, affecting parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Uganda. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Image: Refugees Flock To Dadaab As Famine Grips Somalia

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23: Somalian refugees disembark a bus in the registration area of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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Image: An aid worker using an iPad films the rotting carcass of a cow in Wajir near the Kenya-Somalia border

An aid worker using an iPad films the rotting carcass of a cow in Wajir near the Kenya-Somalia border, July 23, 2011. Since drought gripped the Horn of Africa, and especially since famine was declared in parts of Somalia, the international aid industry has swept in and out of refugee camps and remote hamlets in branded planes and snaking lines of white 4x4s. This humanitarian, diplomatic and media circus is necessary every time people go hungry in Africa, analysts say, because governments - both African and foreign - rarely respond early enough to looming catastrophes. Combine that with an often simplistic explanation of the causes of famine, and a growing band of aid critics say parts of Africa are doomed to a never-ending cycle of ignored early warnings, media appeals and emergency U.N. feeding - rather than a transition to lasting self-sufficiency. Picture taken July 23, 2011. To match Feature AFRICA-FAMINE/ REUTERS/Barry Malone (KENYA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER SOCIETY)
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Image: Refugees Flock To Dadaab As Famine Grips Somalia

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23: A dust storm blows as newly arrived Somalian refugees settle on the edge of the Dagahaley refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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Image: Refugees Flock To Dadaab As Famine Grips Somalia

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23: A Somalian refugee helps to dig a latrine on the outskirts of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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Image: Refugees Flock To Dadaab As Famine Grips Somalia

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23: Somalian refugees wait in the registration area of the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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Image: Refugees Flock To Dadaab As Famine Grips Somalia

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 23: Somalian refugees' documents are checked at the entrance to the registration area of the IFO refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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Image: Refugees Flock To Dadaab As Famine Grips Somalia

DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 22: A mother washes her malnourished child in the Medecins Sans Frontieres Hospital in the Dagahaley refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Oli Scarff / Getty Images Europe
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Image: Drought-stricken camels drink water from a tank near Harfo, northwest of Mogadishu

Drought-stricken camels drink water from a tank near Harfo, 70 km from Galkayo northwest of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, July 20, 2011. The United Nations on Wednesday declared famine in two regions of southern Somalia, and warned that this could spread further within two months in the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country unless donors step in. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (SOMALIA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS HEALTH)
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Image: Farhiya (centre) holds her 7-year-old sister Suladan by the hand as they follow their mother and brothers at the reception center of the Dolo Ado refugee camp near the Ethiopia-Somalia border

Farhiya (centre) holds her 7-year-old sister Suladan by the hand as they follow their mother and brothers at the reception center of the Dolo Ado refugee camp near the Ethiopia-Somalia border on July 19, 2011. Refugees are being housed at the transit center while a new camp is being set up by the Ethiopian goverment and international aid organizations. Thousands of Somalis have fled in recent months to neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya in search of food and water, with many dying along the way, as the region suffers what the UN has described as the worst drought in decades. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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Somalis fleeing hunger in their drought-stricken nation walk along the main road leading from the Somalian border to the refugee camps around Dadaab, Kenya, Wednesday, July 13, 2011. More than 11 million people in the Horn of Africa are confronting the worst drought in decades and need urgent assistance to stay alive, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday. Ban called an emergency meeting Tuesday morning with the heads of U.N. agencies to discuss the worsening drought in East Africa, which along with fighting in Somalia has created a humanitarian crisis.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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A woman from southern Somalia struggles to build a makeshift shelter from tree branches at a new camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Thousands of people have arrived in Mogadishu over the past two weeks seeking assistance and the number is increasing by the day, due to lack of water and food. The drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor)
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Osman Ali Aliyow Mursal digs a burial plot amongst other recent graves for his four-year-old son Aden Ibrahim, as men prepare to pray over the boy's body, wrapped in a plastic mat, on the outskirts of Ifo II Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Doctors were unable to save Aden, who died of diarrhea-related dehydration after four days of inpatient care. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. People die here every day, though no one can provide a reliable estimate of the drought deaths.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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Two-year-old, Aden Salaad, looks up toward his mother, unseen, as she bathes him in a tub at a Doctors Without Borders hospital, where Aden is receiving treatment for malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, July 11, 2011. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Rebecca Blackwell / AP
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Refugees newly arrived from Somalia line up to receive food rations at a receiving center in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Saturday, July 9, 2011. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 1300 new refugees fleeing drought and hunger in Somalia are arriving daily in the Dadaab area. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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A Somali child from southern Somalia holds his brother as they wait outside a ruined building before making their way to the internally displaced persons camps in Mogadishu, Somalia, after fleeing from southern Somalia, Friday, July 8, 2011. Thousands of people have arrived in Mogadishu over the past two weeks seeking assistance and the number is increasing by the day, due to lack of water and food. The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Farah Abdi Warsameh / AP
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A malnourished child is held in her grandmother's arms at Wajir District hospital, Wajir town, Kenya, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating. (AP Photo/ Sayyid Azim)
Sayyid Azim / AP
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A refugee from Southern Somalia carries her baby and her belongings, as she makes her way to an internally displaced camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, July 5, 2011. Thousands of people have arrived in Mogadishu over the past two weeks seeking assistance and the number is increasing by the day due to lack of water and food. The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, (AP Photo Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Farah Abdi Warsameh / AP
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