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Progress In Reducing Child Mortality Rates At Somalia, Ethiopia Border Refugee Camps Is Slow, U.S. Official Says

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Reuben Brigety, “[t]he top U.S. official for refugee issues, … says that despite intensive efforts, relief agencies have made little progress in reducing child mortality rates at refugee camps along Somalia’s border with Ethiopia,” VOA News reports. Brigety, “comment[ing] as he returned from Dollo Ado, a sprawling camp complex in Ethiopia that houses 120,000 refugees from famine-stricken southern Somalia … tells VOA that humanitarian agencies have made impressive progress in establishing health facilities and registering the backlog of refugees arriving daily from Somalia’s famine zone. But he said children are still dying at an alarming rate of malnutrition and other complications, such as measles,” the news agency writes.

“Brigety said at the worst of the four Dollo Ado camps, the mortality rate among children under five is more than 15 per 10,000 per day” and that “[t]he overall famine death toll among Somalis is believed to be well over 30,000 and rising daily,” according to VOA. “Brigety said his main worry is that famine will kill tens of thousands more people in short order unless the international community is able to intervene in Shabab-controlled areas inside Somalia in what he called ‘unfettered and robust fashion,'” VOA concludes (Heinlein, 9/1). 

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