August 9th, 2011
09:15 PM ET
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On Tuesday night, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta report live from Somalia with more on the disturbing hunger situation. "AC360º" is now at 8 and 10 ET weeknights on CNN.

Dadaab, Kenya (CNN) - Right now, this may be the most desperate place on Earth.

A drought, not seen in 60 years, compounded with near complete lawlessness and utter disregard for human life has made it so.

It is hard to imagine, but dust and starvation are nearly everywhere you look, and the world's largest refugee camp is thick with misery on this night. The smell is a combination of the acrid sweetness associated with malnourishment, anxious sweat and diesel fuel.

The fuel is used to keep away the swarming flies. It stinks more than it repels.

The children here are small, too small for their age. I met 5-year-old Janaw and saw him weigh in at 20 pounds. His brother is 4 and weighs closer to 15. And there is a youngest brother, Muhammad, just 3 months and light as a feather.


These children make their way into my dreams at night. With their yellowed, leathery skin, white eyelids, croup like cough and persistent sores, they reflect the consequences of inaction to a catastrophe that was neither sudden, nor a surprise.

This lack of water, and the subsequent loss of crops, followed by the death of livestock had been predicted for at least a year, and yet still there is a full on famine here, unlike the world has seen in a long time.

Feed the world's children. This, we should be able to do.

Read Misery in world's largest refugee camp

Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 8pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food Politics • Human Rights • Hunger • Sanjay Gupta • TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • Water

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ash

    I guess it's up to those godless, heathen, devil-worshipping infidels living in the US to help out the suffering Muslims in Somalia. Allah forbid that the rich Muslims can't enjoy their third gold-plated pool lined with diamonds in the middle of the desert.

    August 11, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  2. Renee

    How can we help? What are the reputable aid organizations that feed starving children–any where in the world?

    August 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Kimberly M.

      World Vision and Save The Children- both have good reputations. You can text "4Africa" to 20222 to make a donation to World Vision's famine fund and you can visit Save The Children's website to see if they have any Africa famine programs they working on(I'm sure they do!). You can also investigate for other reputable Charity Navigator- an independent charity review site: (Its America's largest charity review site).

      August 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  3. Jill

    ....FOOD is necessary to live, sex isn't. It's not necessary, keep your legs closed for God's sake.

    August 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  4. Jill

    My heart goes out to these children, but why, why, why someone please tell me why are they procreating. Do they have to have carnal relations? Is that absolutely necessary?!? STOP having children. STOP having children. Can anyone explain to the people that NOW might not be the most opportune time to get your rocks off? I understand that rapes occur, but otherwise NO ONE here should be having children. It's completely selfish.

    August 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Kimberly M.

      Its a cultural difference... In a lot of rural parts of Africa children are used to help support their families on their farms – so they are seen not neccassarily as another mouth to feed but as another hand that can help. Also culturally contraception is seen as being used only when a spouse is being unfaithful with their mate- so a lot of African woman are intimidated/fearful to ask for contraception... and culturally men are told that they are more masculine depending on the number of children they can produce. Due to AIDS epidemic I know South Africa has been somewhat successful in breaking these cultural stereotypes- mainly through woman's empowerment intivatives by the government and through health education in schools(even beginning at the elementary/middle school levels with sex education)- in some places in S.A. they even put free condoms for men and women in public people will feel less shame asking for them.

      August 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  5. Yankee

    I will not give any african a goddamn thing. I'll set my money on fire and watch their filthy children dle rather than give them anything.

    1993 has not been forgotten or forgiving.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Multi-Tasking @ Work

      @ Yankee...these little kids are innocent and weren't around in 1993...I do remember 1993

      August 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Petco

    The UN tried to help and look what a dismal failure that was. Let the caring and loving and very RICH islamic nations help one of their own.
    Meanwhile back in the USofA children are starving as well. Where is the concern? Think of the thousands of hungry children that could be fed from the money spent on airing just one of Moris Annisette's save the starving pet commercials. More money is spent by people and organizations to save stray pets than to help starving children. How is that not messed up?

    August 10, 2011 at 1:19 am |
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