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Famine in East Africa

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With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, affecting more than 11 million people, the United Nations has declared a famine in the region for the first time in a generation. Overcrowded refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia are receiving some 3,000 new refugees every day, as families flee from famine-stricken and war-torn areas. The meager food and water that used to support millions in the Horn of Africa is disappearing rapidly, and families strong enough to flee for survival must travel up to a hundred miles, often on foot, hoping to make it to a refugee center, seeking food and aid. Many do not survive the trip. Officials warn that 800,000 children could die of malnutrition across the East African nations of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Kenya. Aid agencies are frustrated by many crippling situations: the slow response of Western governments, local governments and terrorist groups blocking access, terrorist and bandit attacks, and anti-terrorism laws that restrict who the aid groups can deal with -- not to mention the massive scale of the current crisis. Below are a few images from the past several weeks in East Africa. One immediate way to help is to text "FOOD" to UNICEF (864233) to donate $10, enough to feed a child for 10 days, more ways to help listed here. [38 photos]

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Mihag Gedi Farah, a malnourished seven-month-old child weighing only 7.5 pound (3.4kg), is held by his mother in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, on 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)
Mihag Gedi Farah, a malnourished seven-month-old child weighing only 7.5 pound (3.4kg), is held by his mother in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, on 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)
Women and girls, caught in a small sandstorm, fetch water in Wajir in this photo released on July 21, 2011. A wide swath of east Africa, including Kenya and Ethiopia, has been hit by years of severe drought and the United Nations says two regions of southern Somalia are suffering the worst famine for 20 years. (Reuters/Jakob Dall/Danish Red Cross) #
Somali refugee Kadija Ibrahim Yousef, 67, sits in her makeshift hut on the edge of the Hagadera refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
A Somali man accesses a water point at the Dadaab refugee camp on July 4, 2011. With a population of 370,000, Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp even though it was built for just 90,000. According to Doctors Without Borders, the number of people seeking refugee keeps swelling and Dadaab will house 450,000 refugees by the end of the year, or twice the population of Geneva. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
A mother is measured to see if she is malnourished at a nutritional center near Lodwar in Turkana, Kenya, on July 15, 2011. (Reuters/Kate Holt/UNICEF) #
Four-year-old Luli Nunow, suffering from severe acute malnutrition, sits in a ward of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) NGO in Dadaab, on July 22, 2011. MSF is currently treating over 7,000 children for malnutrition in this, one of three camps at Dadaab. (Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Somalian refugee boy collects firewood 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. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Somali refugees who recently crossed the border from Somalia into southern Ethiopia cluster between two food tents as they wait to be called to collect food aid at the Kobe refugee camp, on July 19, 2011. Ethiopian authorities and non-governmental organizations have accommodated almost 25,000 refugees at the camp since it was set up less then three weeks ago. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman waits for food rations at a feeding center in Lolkuta, near Wajir, on July 21, 2011. The UN's World Programme Programme was preparing on July 26, 2011 to airlift food aid into the Somali capital Mogadishu, but efforts were hampered by last minute paperwork in Kenya. 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 struck by the worst drought in the region in 60 years. (Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images) #
An aid worker using an iPad photographs the rotting carcass of a cow in Wajir, near the Kenya-Somalia border, on 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. (Reuters/Barry Malone) #
An aerial 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. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images) #
Newly arrived Somalian refugees settle on the edge of the Ifo refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Nado Mahad Abdilli builds a makeshift shelter for her family in Ifo 2, an area earmarked for refugee camp expansion, but yet to be approved by the Kenyan government, outside Dadaab, Kenya, on 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) #
Somali men carry a severely malnourished child, under the instruction of a African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) peacekeeper, from a camp for internally displaced people to the peacekeeping operations headquarters where the child was admitted for emergency medical treatment, in Mogadishu, on July 15, 2011. (Reuters/Stuart Price/AU-UN IST PHOTO) #
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. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Used food tins lie stacked near a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, on Tuesday, July 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #
Mohammed Osman, a malnourished seventy-year-old man from southern Somalia, lies on a bed at the Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu, on July 15, 2011. (Abdurashid Abikar/AFP/Getty Images) #
Refugee children walk past emaciated cattle in the outskirts of the Dagahaley refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement, on July 23, 2011. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Sheik Yare Abdi washes the body of four-year-old Aden Ibrahim in preparation for burial in accordance with Somali tradition, inside the makeshift shelter where Aden's family lives among other newly-arrived Somali refugees on the outskirts of Ifo II Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Doctors were unable to save Aden, who died of diarrhea-related dehydration after four days of inpatient care. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #
A Somali refugee herds goats through the Ifo refugee camp, part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement, on July 24, 2011. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
Abdirisak Mursal, 3, a malnourished child from southern Somalia, gets treatment in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, on July 16, 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. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) #
A boy from the family of Rage Mohamed is caught in wind-blown dust as his family builds a makeshift shelter around a thorny acacia tree, on the outskirts of Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, on July 10, 2011. It took the 15-person family five days to make the journey from their drought-stricken home in Somalia. They spent two nights sleeping in the open air under the tree prior to receiving tarps on Sunday. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #
A Somalian refugee digs a latrine on the outskirts of the Ifo refugee camp on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
A Somali woman waits to be registered as a refugee at Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #
Somalis from southern Somalia receive food at a feeding center in Mogadishu, on July 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) #
Two-year-old, Aden Salaad, looks up toward his mother, unseen, as she bathes him in a tub at a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital, where Aden is receiving treatment for malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, on July 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #
Hassan Ali prays by the roadside as he walks from the Somali-Kenyan border, just 2km away, on July 23, 2011. Hassan left his home in Dinsour fifteen days ago, and is walking to join his family in the Kenyan refugee complex at Dadaab, having fled the drought that has ravaged the Horn of Africa. (Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images) #
A unidentified child awaits treatment in a field hospital of Medecins Sans Frontieres, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, on July 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #
A Somali man leads his drought-stricken camels to a water point near Harfo, 70 km from Galkayo northwest of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, on July 20, 2011. (Reuters/Thomas Mukoya) #
Internally displaced Somalis receive grain and cooking oil from the Organization of Islamic Co-Operation (OIC), south of Somalia's capital Mogadishu, on July 11, 2011. (Reuters/Omar Faruk) #
A newly arrived Somali refugee child awaits medical examinations at the Dadaab refugee camp, on July 23, 2011. Aid agencies are unable to reach more than two million Somalis facing starvation in the famine-struck Horn of Africa country where Islamist insurgents control much of the worst-hit areas, the U.N.'s food agency said on Saturday. (Reuters/Kabir Dhanji) #
A Somali refugee woman holds a high-energy biscuit ration at the entrance to the registration area of the Ifo refugee camp on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #
A man sits in front of his makeshift shelter at a camp for internally displaced people in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, on July 15, 2011. (Reuters/Feisal Omar) #
An aid worker rests whilst giving out flour in a food distribution center in Dagahaley Refugee Camp, on July 22, 2011. (Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images) #
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, on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #
Suldana Mohamed, 28, carries a child in Barmil on July 21, 2011. Suldana has six children and finds it harder and harder to provide them with water and food. Three of her children are not yet in school, where they would receive one meal a day. (Reuters/Jakob Dall/Danish Red Cross) #
(1 of 2) A Somali doctor treats a malnourished child, as the child's mother looks on at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, on July 21, 2011. (Reuters/Feisal Omar) #
(2 of 2) A Somali woman weeps for her dead child at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, on July 21, 2011. (Reuters/Feisal Omar) #

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