Cholera Adds to Famine-Stricken East Africa’s Woes

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The United Nations is warning the famine in the Horn of Africa has not yet peaked. Twelve million people are still at risk as the worst drought in 60 years plagues the region.
    
Further aggravating the situation, the World Health Organization announced that one of the famine-ravaged nations, Somalia, is now facing a cholera epidemic.

"With cholera, everyone is at risk, but the conditions are perfect for transmission now in Mogadishu," the World Health Organization's Tarik Jasarevic told Agence France Presse.

Health experts say dirty water and poor sanitation are causing an outbreak of the deadly disease.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said that children in particular were the most vulnerable to the disease.

"The massive influx of people into Mogadishu and the rising number of cases of acute watery diarrhea in crowded urban areas places malnourished children at grave threat from cholera, which is a deadly and contagious disease," he told Agence France.
    
The U.N. says without a massive global response hundreds of thousands face imminent starvation and death.

Tony Hall, the executive director of the alliance to end hunger, recently visited the refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya.
    
He spoke with CBN News by phone from Nairobi and told us about the greatest needs in the camps.

"I think there are great needs for food, water, sanitation, for non-food items, things that people need," he told CBN News. "These people have escaped Somalia with just whatever they can carry."

"I think the U.N., the U.S. government, the private organizations, the Americans that have been donating money, I think they can feel really good because their money is being, I think, served well," he said adding that it was the moral and right thing to do.

"I think our country, I think every country, is judged by how they take care of the least of these," Hall said.

Meanwhile, CBN's Operation Blessing is at work in Kenya, providing much-needed aid to residents there.

"They are facing extreme food shortages due to a drought that has lasted for years," explained David Darg, Operation Blessing's director of international disaster relief.

"Operation Blessing is providing emergency food relief to these people and other people in the area," he said.

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