Emergency vaccinations have begun in the world’s biggest refugee camp, where thousands fleeing famine are also at risk of disease.
The aim is to protect children from polio and measles in the Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya and its extensions, known as Ifo 1, 2 and 3.
“Our target on this camp in Ifo is 2,500 kids,” said Alexandre Izart, a field coordinator with the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres. “We consider the population of Ifo 3 will be, at the end of the week, 10,000 refugees, so 20 percent of them will be under five.”
Tens of thousands have fled Somalia in search of food amid the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa for 60 years. Others have fled to the capital.
But the onset of heavy rain in Mogadishu has only caused fresh turmoil, destroying the makeshift shelters of the newly-displaced.
Amid these desperate conditions, Islamists who control large parts of the war-ravaged country are hampering much of the Western aid effort. It is not enough, but some relief is getting through, like a shipment that arrived in Mogadishu on Sunday from Kuwait’s Red Crescent.