Children bear brunt of Somali refugee crisis

Somali family affected by drought

Eight out of ten Somali refugees in Ethiopian camps are under the age of 18, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR says that children are suffering the most as a result of the drought in the Horn of Africa.

The agency points out that in the Kobe camp 88.6% of the 25,000 strong population are children.

Most families are led by women, looking after large numbers of children, not just their own but also young relatives or orphans.

As many as 2,500 children arrive in one of the four Ethiopian camps unaccompanied or separated from their families.

Adrian Edwards is UNHCR Spokesman in Geneva:

"Somali children, we are seeing now, are the biggest victims of the refugee crisis in the Horn of Africa, according to the latest profiling data we've collected in Ethiopia. The most recent demographic breakdown of the Somali influx into Ethiopia shows that children under the age of 18 are the largest age group among refugees. They account for some 80 per cent of the 121,000 refugees sheltered in four camps in the Dollo Ado region of south-eastern Ethiopia."

Duration:  27″

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