Somalia + 3 more

Conflict and climate changes equal refugees

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Climate changes in the Horn of Africa have increased the number of refugees in need of humanitarian aid from the International Society as the prolonged drought has dismantled the traditional survival mechanisms in the area.

The conflict in Somalia centred round the capital Mogadishu is growing worse day by day, and at the same time both Somalia and Ethiopia have experienced a prolonged drought. The conflict and the climate put together have sent both Somalis and Ethiopians on the run seeking protection and survival opportunities far away from their home lands.

"The traditional survival mechanisms for refugees and internally displaced have been destroyed by the drought. People are no longer able to help each other, the way they used to. The family or the Clan would normally step in to help out, but they do not have any spare resources left themselves," says Anders Knudsen, coordinator in the Danish Refugee Council.

Unsan Hussein Mursal, 50, used to live well of the family farm back in Somalia. But the successive droughts that hit many parts of Somalia have forced the family to seek refuge in Kenya's Dadaab camps.

"I lost all my crops in the farm in 2006 due to prolonged drought. Then in 2008, I could not believe when my farm produced nothing again. I also lost all my livestock. That is the moment I beat it," she says tearfully, flanked by her visually impaired daughter, Amina Aden Hafaw.

During the past three years the number of Somalia refugees and internally displaced have gone up from 720.000 to about 2.080.000. In the same period of time the number of Somali refugees like Usan Hussein Mural has doubled. Today the camp houses 300.000 refugees and is considered the biggest refugee camp in the world.

The Danish Refugee Council works to give aid and protection to refugees and displaced in both Somalia, Ethiopia in the countries the refugees flee to; Kenya, Yemen and Ethiopia.