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In most of the developing world the common thread is this, Women and children bear the brunt of many of the atrocities that face the people in these most hardest hi Countries.  It is no different in the East African Famine, the worst Humanitarian Crisis in our lifetime.

(Rebecca Blackwell / AP)

According to UNHCR 80% of refugees arriving at camps are women and children.  We are talking about millions of women and children fleeing for their very lives and on the edge of survival with more than just hunger on their minds, but dangers that we cannot imagine.

The reason for this disproportionate number of women and children in refugee camps?  Many women and children move on as the men stay behind to tend their animals and farms.  And not only is the journey perilous, the camps themselves are not completely safe.

(Rebecca Blackwell / AP)

Dadaab refugee camp is the largest refugee camp in the world. Originally designed to house 90,000 people, it is overflowing, with 390,000 refugees and counting. Because there is no room in the central camp, which has paved roads and established cement homes and has been declared full since 2008, arriving families must set up makeshift tents along the outskirts.

The little protection provided women in the camp is non-existent in the tent village. There have been accounts of men entering the vulnerable tents and attacking both women and children. According to UNICEF, there were 358 reported incidents of sexual and gender-based violence between January and June of 2011.

Victims of violence in the camps have few options. Its unclear where a woman would go to report a rape, with inadequate monitoring within (and on the outskirts of) refugee camps. CARE works to provide both physical and mental health services to women who have suffered trauma, but even these counseling services may be threatened as limited resources are stretched to accommodate the overwhelming influx of refugees. “There’s been some difficulty in finding the right balances between what are the essential services,” Lopoukhine says. “More staff are needed.”

Source

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This crisis is leaving women with burdens beyond mere nutritional needs, like any humanitarian crisis, it is complex and the demands of meeting these needs are exceeding the ability of organizations to react.

(Mohamed Sheikh Nor / AP)

(Rebecca Blackwell / AP)

More than 90 per cent of the women arriving at the camp are accompanied by four or more children and Grant says that the dire conditions they face are creating dangerous precedents "as desperate children and women try to meet their basic needs through harmful and exploitative work, including child labour and commercial sex work".

"We are concerned by the large number of female headed households with small children who are on the move which makes them more vulnerable and puts them at risk of opportunistic attacks and exposure to violence," Grant explains.

Source

So not only are families split, women with their children are under attack.  Somali women fleeing famine preyed on by rapists.

Refugee Barwago Mohamud huddles silently beneath a few blankets stretched over sticks at night, fearing for her life after a neighbor was raped, and a naked woman who had been kidnapped and gang-raped for three days in front of her terrified children was delivered to the medical tent next door.

...

Research shows that women are often attacked when they leave their families to go to the bathroom or gather firewood. When Mohamud's three young daughters need to relieve themselves, she insists on going with them, and takes the only torch the nine women share between them. She has no shoes, so she walks barefoot over the thorny ground.

"Women express a lot of fear about going to the bush. They say there are men with guns there," said Sinead Murray, an aid worker with the International Rescue Committee. Her organization has recorded a spike in rapes and attempted rape. Since the beginning of June, they have had double the number of attacks reported from January-May.

"More and more women are coming forward who have been raped," said Murray, who said consultations with communities show the vast majority of rapes go unreported. Women may not know where to seek help, or fear ostracism by their community.

The journey then the destination that is supposed to be your rescue could now not only be your torture, but your very demise, or even worse, ostracism from your very community.

Please help,

CLICK THE BELOW LINK TO MAKE A DONATION

Remember to add $.01 to your donation so it ends up being $5.01, $20.01, $50.01, $100.01, and so on.  This will enable Oxfam to keep track of all Daily Kos donations.

Please read this if you live outside the United States - to make a donation, click this link and scroll down a bit to find your country.  If not listed, please Google Oxfam in your country.

East Africa Food Crisis: 48 Hours of Action

This weekend, Daily Kos is participating in 48-Hour Fundraiser hosted by environmental websites and nonprofit organizations to benefit the 12 million people struggling for survival in the East African countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.  Last week, the United Nations announced famine -- already declared in two districts -- is likely to spread throughout southern Somalia. This week, the UN issued a warning that food insecurity in northern Uganda is sufficiently alarming to raise the possibility that the country might become the fifth nation impacted by the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in sixty years.

Also participating in this weekend of action are 350.org, Oxfam International, WiserEarth, tcktcktck, DeSmogBlog, MIT Climate CoLab, BPI Campus, Climate Change: The Next Generation, RedGreenAndBlue.org, Cool HIVE, MedicMobile, and The Enough Project.

Over the course of the weekend, experts in the field of humanitarian assistance will join environmental writers to outline the history of the region and detail how geopolitics, colonialism, ongoing civil wars, climate change and geographic vulnerabilities have combined to create the perfect storm now ravaging East Africa.

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Each participating organization is choosing its particular group for donated funds.  Daily Kos is donating all monies raised to directly support the work of Oxfam in the Horn of Africa.  Please add $.01 to your donation so it ends up being $5.01, $20.01, $50.01, $100.01, and so on.  This will enable Oxfam to keep track of all Daily Kos donations.

Click here to Go directly to Oxfam's donation page.

Please read this if you live outside the United States - to make a donation, click this link and scroll down a bit to find your country.  If not listed, please Google Oxfam in your country.

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Schedule of Daily Kos Diaries - August 6th and August 7th

  • Saturday, August 6th - PST

6-10: Una Spencer: 48forEastAfrica: A Strident Appeal
10-12: rb137: 48forEastAfrica: Millions and Counting
12-3: wader: 48 for East Africa: Let's Change This News
3-7: FishOutofWater: 48forEastAfrica: Climate Change is Increasing Drought & Hunger in East Africa
7-9: Adam Siegel: 48forEast Africa: Shadows ... Out of Sight, Out of Mind ...
9-12: Oke: 48 Hours for East Africa - Use Your Beehive to Save Lives+
1-6 PST:  Laura Heaton (Enough Project): 48forEastAfrica: Laura Heaton Interviews Somalia Expert Ken Menkhaus

  • Sunday, August 7th - PST

6-8: blue jersey mom: 48 for East Africa: Foreign Aid, a Birthday and a Challenge
8-10: JekyllnHyde:48ForEastAfrica - Millions of People Need Your Attention and Help
8-10: James Greyson: Blindspot:48 for East Africa: Look both ways before you cross
10-12: 350.org: Samantha Bailey: 350 Africa Organizer: Reporting from the Frontlines
12-2: Ellinorianne: 48 for East Africa: Women and Children
2-4: Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse
4-6: Daisy Carlson (CoolHIVE.org)
6-9: jlms qkw
9-12: boatsie
Overnight: Chacounne

Originally posted to East Africa Food Crisis: 48 Hours of Action on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 11:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Environmental Foodies, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Policy Zone, PWB Peeps, Team DFH, Spiritual Organization of Unapologetic Liberals at Daily Kos, and Anglican Kossacks.

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