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Thousands of residents of Gebo and Bay are now in the Kobe and Hilaweyn refugee camps in Ethiopia depending on relief from aid agencies.

Save the Children Starts School Meals for Somali Refugees

Imagine if you were a child living in the Gebo and Bay regions of Somalia last summer. Instead of having the opportunity to go to school in the fall you were trapped in a massive drought zone. With food supplies low your family would be forced to flee the region as a matter of survival.



Scene from a refugee camp in Ethiopia where Somalis fled to when food supplies ran out in their homeland. What future do these children face? (WFP/Natasha Scripture)


Starting in the summer of 2011, streams of hungry Somalis fled Gebo, Bay, and other crisis areas. Some parts of Southern Somalia were declared in famine as starvation had set in. The drought, combined with conflict, placed over 13 million people at risk of starvation in Somalia and other countries in East Africa. 



Photo of the Kobe Refugee camp in Southern Ethiopia. Thousands of Somalis fled to this camp following the massive drought and food shortages in 2011. (WFP/Judith Schuler)

This map shows the food shortages facing Somalia after the drought of 2011. Across the border in Ethiopia are the refugee camps at Dollo Ado where Somalis fled in the desperate search to find food. Save the Children wants to provide school meals and emergency education to as many children as possible in these camps. (map courtesy USAID FEWSNET)


Thousands of residents of Gebo and Bay are now in the Kobe and Hilaweyn refugee camps in Ethiopia and depending on relief from aid agencies. Save the Children is helping kids within these camps by providing emergency education and school meals.The meal will be a porridge, made of a corn-soy blend, served as a breakfast at school.

In addition Save the Children wants to provide school meals to children in the Melkadida and Bokolmayo camps, also in Ethiopia.

Save the Children hopes to provide meals to 8,037 children who are currently receiving emergency education in these four refugee camps. And they want to expand the program to reach more children. There are 43,966 school-age children in the four camps.

Save the Children is also working on the construction of schools to expand educational opportunities.

The school meal program, with supplies from the UN World Food Programme, will improve child nutrition. It’s also expected to improve enrollment and enhance the teaching and learning process.

Funding, though, is critical. Save the Children says resources for the program are expected to run out later this year. That is where the public can help by supporting Save the Children’s East Africa appeal.

About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.

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