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According to the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, about half a million children are close to death in the Horn of Africa. It's an area that includes Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
A harsh drought swept the region this year, the worst in 60 years. And it's taken its toll in lives, agriculture, and security. Thanks in part to an outpouring of humanitarian aid, the famine zones in Somalia have been cut in half. But the emergency is not over: a quarter-of-a-million people in Somalia are at risk of starvation. And here's another, atrocious, number -- more than thirty thousand Somali children have died since April. And that number continues to grow at a staggering rate.
So, where do you start? How do you help?
Well, Canada is sending aid through CIDA and various non-governmental organizations. One of those NGOs is World Vision and its president, Dave Toycen, along with Canadian musician Kardinal Offishall, recently travelled to the Kenya-Somalia border. It's an area ravaged by hunger, conflict, and illness.
World Vision's role there is to provide clean water and assist in food production. And Kardinal is hoping to get the word out about people caught in a devastating situation.