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Rome Reports

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Progress is made in the Horn of Africa, but serious challenges remain

In refugee camps the situation is still serious. These are images of a camp in Yida in South Sudan, where over 23,000 refugees live. Awadia(South Sudan) “We came here to escape from our home where we were suffering because of bombings. We had no food in our home so we came, but we are now suffering just like in our country.”When South Sudan became independent on July 9, 2011, the border region of South Kordofan became a point of conflict between the Sudanese army and the revolutionary forces of South Sudan. ;Those who lived around the oil rich region have been displaced from their homes by the conflict. Some argue, the situation in refugee camps is also quite dangerous. Munir(South Sudan)“On the 10th of this month at around 3 o’clock, a plane came and targeted the camp. It dropped four bombs. Two of the bombs fell outside the camp into the bushes and one fell into the school. This school is for small children – that bomb crashed onto the tree and fell, but it didn?t explode. There were small children here but they were not injured.”Several UN agencies are working to ensure security and food in the refugee camp. The groups are also looking for more locations where they can take those who keep on coming. But when it comes to food, there is no guarantee. It?s also a similar situation in Kenya. In the Turkana region, located in the northwest of the country, the government built a health center in July. Because of the drought, every day doctors care for several malnourished children, like this one. Agnes(Kenya) “The child was sick between July and August this year. He had frequent diarrhea, was losing weight and had a high fever. When we took him to the health center, they admitted him to the therapeutic feeding program.”To help these children, UNICEF provides medicine and vaccines which have reduced the malnutrition rate. Olivia YambiUNICEF Representative (Kenya) “This is a great improvement since the situation in July. It means that the outreach services that have been provided in the communities where people and children, are actually effective.”Even so, rates of malnutrition in the Horn of Africa remain high. Between displacement and lack of food, the region?s worst drought in ; 60 years, is still a threat for millions of people AO/KLH ONU--PR