June 19, 2017 18:12

World Refugee Day 2017: Aayan is internally displaced

Aayan* and her son Aadan* receive assistance from Concern staff.

On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June, we tell the stories of some of the refugees and displaced people that are supported by our members.

Somalia’s ongoing drought is one of the worst in recent history. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to leave their homes and villages to seek food and water, many trekking miles on foot. The journey across hot, dry land is frequently filled with unimaginable suffering and sorrow.

Aayan* and her son Aadan* recently arrived in a Concern nutrition centre in Mogadishu after a 37 mile trek. But Aaayan had started her journey with three children. Tragically, she had lost two of them along the way. There was nothing that she could do to save them.

Three-year-old Aadan weighed only twenty pounds when he was assessed by Concern’s teams. Diagnosed as severely malnourished, he was immediately admitted to receive urgent care.

Many other mothers have lost their children in similarly desperate journeys, and as the drought continues, the worst may be yet to come. Right now, there are around 6.2 million people that need food assistance in Somalia — over half the country’s population — and every day more people continue to leave their homes in search of food and water.

*Names have been changed

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This story is part of Alliance2015 World Refugee Day campaign, featuring stories of refugees supported by our members. For more information about the campaign and other stories, please click here.