About the Author: Ambassador Ertharin Cousin serves as U.S. Representative to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.
I arrived to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya this morning, by plane from Nairobi. Too busy, too exhausted (physically and emotionally) to write much detail but here are my first impressions: Walking through the gates of the Dadaab camp receiving area, I immediately encounter a newly-arrived family of five. Covered in Somalian dust, they appear tired and, for a family with small boys, abnormally sullen.
As a grandmother of boys about the same age my heart melts, because, I know, my boys can’t sit still for more than a few minutes. These small boys having just walked, I learn from their mother, for 14 days to reach the camp, sit almost lifeless. Their arms and legs are literally skin and bones. But now their mother tells me, despite their appearance, they are happy. My translator tells me the parents decided to make the long walk to the camp after their crops failed… more »