4 Aug 2011

Fears for relatives in Somalia drought crisis

9:27 am on 4 August 2011

Somalis in New Zealand hold grave fears for their families displaced by a devastating drought in the Horn of Africa.

The United Nations World Food Programme estimates that more than 11 million people are hungry throughout the region.

Oxfam New Zealand says aid agencies are rushing food to Somalia to stop more people leaving the famine-stricken country for refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

A leader of the Somali community in New Zealand, Adam Awad, says many in the community have relatives caught up in the crisis.

Mr Awad says while some have family members already in the refugee camps, others have lost touch with those who have left their homes to travel to the camps.

It has created a huge stress for the Somali community in New Zealand, he says.