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East Africa is in the midst of its worst drought in more than 60 years, with as many as 10 million people at risk.
The drought has led to crop failures and food shortages in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia, and now a refugee crisis looms as people leave their homes to escape hunger.
The U.N. says thousands of Somalis are leaving their country, ending up in parched and overcrowded refugee camps.
Dadaab in Kenya is the world’s largest refugee camp. Intended for 90,000 people, the U.N. says there are now more than 380,000 there.
And things look set to get worse. “All the predictions show seasonal rains are far away and the situation will deteriorate — we have not even reached the peak of the crisis,” said Dr. Unni Krishnan, disaster coordinator for children’s development organization Plan International.
He says failed rains, high food prices and regional conflict have conspired to create a “deadly combination” for the region.
Rainfall in the Horn of Africa has declined steadily over the past 10 years, according to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), but recent years have been especially dry.