Food Crisis Puts Somalia Children in Jeopardy

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Thousands of East African families are leaving their homes in search of food and water during what's being called the worst food crisis of the 21st century. 

Officials say more than 1,000 Somalis cross the border into Kenya every day, but many of the younger children are dying from hunger and exhaustion before reaching refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. 

In Northern and Eastern Kenya, more than 3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.  

World Vision Kenya staffer Nicholas Wasunna said younger Somali children are at the greatest risk.     

"We are very concerned because especially [those] under [age] five -- if they do not get the nutritional requirement they need in the first five years of their lives,  there will be stunting and this [is] irreversible," he warned.  "They will never be able to live really their full potential."

According to U.N. officials in the region, overcrowded refugee camps are now housing more than 380,000 people. Lack of food in the camps has caused child malnutrition rates to soar, reaching 15 percent in some areas.

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