International aid agency Oxfam will provide daily updates from the field on the unfolding crisis in East Africa via podcasts. These can be downloaded for use by media outlets, including websites.
New Zealander Janna Hamilton from Oxfam is in Dadaab, Kenya, where the world’s largest refugee camp houses close to 400,000 people.
Ms Hamilton will record daily podcasts that can be downloaded at the Oxfam Channel on ipadio http://www.ipadio.com/phlogs/oxfam_emergency. She is also available for interview.
In her first podcast, she reports that hundreds of thousands of Somalis are making the long, treacherous journey on foot into Dadaab, and to Ethiopia to the north.
“Families are continuing to arrive in the refugee camps with horrific stories of children dying from starvation and disease along the way. Some have walked for four weeks to get here,” she said.
“It’s hard to comprehend the scale of this crisis. Just in Dadaab alone, the rows of tents stretch on for kilometres, and up to 1500 people continue to arrive each day.”
Across East Africa, almost 12 million people are at risk and parts of southern Somalia have already been declared a famine.
With the next scheduled rains not due until October, the need for emergency assistance such as food, shelter and water remains urgent.
Oxfam is already reaching more than 1 million people in the region and hopes to reach a total of 3 million people affected by the food crisis.
Oxfam is providing lifesaving aid such as clean water, food and sanitation that is essential to prevent the spread of disease.
To donate to Oxfam’s East Africa Food Crisis appeal, go online at www.oxfam.org.au, call 1800 034 034 or visit any Oxfam shop or Westpac branch.
For interviews with Janna Hamilton, Oxfam photos and video footage from East Africa, or more information on Oxfam’s response, contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Chee Chee Leung on 0400 732 795. Dabaab, Kenya is seven hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.