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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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Yesterday marked World Refugee Day, as the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, visited Jordan to highlight the 1.6 million registered people who have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria. The UN refugee agency, which was set up in 1950 to aid those still displaced after World War II, reports that there are some 10.5 million refugees worldwide. -- Lloyd Young ( 29 photos total)
Afghan refugee children, swim in muddy water created from a broken water pipe, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 17. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the UN refugee agency. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)     

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World Refugee Day

June 20th is World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to raise awareness of the 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. They are men, women and children forced to flee their homes due to persecution, violence or conflict. You can read more about this campaign and make donations on the the World Refugee Web site created by the UNHCR.

Above are a few images from Reportage photographers who have focused their attention on refugee crises over the years. Clockwise from top:

SOMALILAND - MARCH 4, 2010: Tired Somali refugees sleep in the desert after traveling all night through rain and muddy roads on their trip to Yemen. Every year, thousands of people risk their lives crossing the Gulf of Aden to escape conflict and poverty in Somalia. (Photo by Ed Ou/Reportage by Getty Images)

LAIZA, KACHIN STATE – DECEMBER 20, 2011: Internally displaced refugees wait for food stamps to be handed out in Jeyang Camp in northern Myanmar. After a 17-year ceasefire, and despite promises to the contrary from Myanmar President Thein Sein, the Burmese Army went on an offensive in June 2011. (Photo by Christian Holst/Reportage by Getty Images)

SOUTH SUDAN - 2012: The shoes of Gasim Issa, who walked for 20 days on his journey from Blue Nile State, Sudan, to South Sudan. He is in his 50s. (Photo by Shannon Jensen)

NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - OCTOBER, 2012: A camp of refugees who fled the conflict between the government and M23 rebels. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

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Today marks World Refugee Day, which the United Nations uses to raise awareness of the plight of the estimated 42 million displaced people worldwide. A UN report released this week showed that 800,000 people were forced to flee across borders last year -- more than any time since 2000. In a message to mark the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help." -- Lloyd Young (30 photos total)
A Myanmar ethnic Rohingya child preparing for a midday prayer on April 23 inside a community school in Klang, a port town 30 kilometres west of Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is observing World Refugee Day along with other countries of the world, there are over 98,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

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In 2008, photojournalist Alixandra Fazzina, who lives in Pakistan, began to stumble across stories of young Afghan refugees, children who were fleeing the country for Europe. Soon after she noticed the phenomenon, she visited a refugee camp in Afghanistan, where she witnessed the funeral of a boy who had died trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. Then, on the same visit, at a hospital, she met a boy who had lost his legs—not as she initially assumed, from a land mine, but as a consequence of having been kidnapped and tortured when trying to go west. “All the time he just kept saying he wanted to get the Europe again, despite the risks. He was just so convinced that there was absolutely no future for him as a young Afghan,” Fazzina says. The last time she saw him was in Greece, where he had again fled, the second time losing the prosthetic legs he had needed after his first attempt at emigration. “He was very lucky to survive that far, and he wasn’t done yet.”

The phenomenon that Fazzina observed first-hand was soon confirmed by statistics. The photographer noted a 64% jump in the number of underage Afghan refugees applying for asylum in Europe in 2010. With money that came that same year with her recognition by UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as the first journalist to win the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award, along with the support of the Norwegian government, Fazzina began a project to document the hardships faced by young people making that journey from Afghanistan.

That project, Flowers of Afghanistan, is now about one-third completed; Fazzina is planning to continue her work in Iran, Pakistan and Italy in the coming months. “When the U.S. leaves, we’re on the brink of civil war,” she says. “It’s very important to me to be highlighting this at this point in time. It’s very important for people to realize that Afghanistan isn’t a success story.”

Although Fazzina had intended to follow the boys—and the very few girls who make the trip—along the road, photographing them, she has found that the journeys are rarely linear. Before they leave home, the boys hide their travel plans, often even from their parents; smugglers, Fazzina says, warn them that to tell will cast a jinn, a bad spirit, on their travels. And once they leave home, false starts are likely; kidnapping is frequent and deportation is a possibility even for children who seek asylum. Instead, Fazzina says she relies on networks and word of mouth, and perhaps the trust that is more easily won by a woman, to find the refugees at each stop along the way. She says that even smugglers, once they hear about her project, will reach out and provide information about their whereabouts. “Of course I want to see them traveling, but I’m not interested in photographing the smugglers themselves, so a lot of what I’ve been getting has been, in photography terms, very quiet pictures,” she says. Her photos from the series are often dark, capturing a moment of furtive rest or a person who must stay in the shadows, but stillness and gloom does not mean calm. “When I take a step back,” she says, “I often wonder if people really understand how dangerous it was.”

And the more time Fazzina has spent in that shadowy world, the clearer the patterns have become. About half the boys, she says, are fatherless due to war or sickness, thrusting them into positions of responsibility in their families. They are from the least stable provinces in the country. Recently, she met some children in Peshawar who had given up or been deported back to Afghanistan, and noticed another level of pattern. “I started to talk to them about the journey, and it was the same places, the same hotels they were held hostage in,” she says. “It’s very shocking and repetitive.”

Even though Fazzina has rarely been able to literally follow the boys she photographs, she has found that there’s a virtual way to keep track of them: through their own photographs, on Facebook. “I see a boy I’ve met and his pictures of himself in Athens, taken with fast cars and in tourist locations and in borrowed clothes, whereas the reality was he was living in a hotel, like a squat, that was being run by the smuggling mafia, full of prostitutes and drugs. It was a million miles from the pictures he showed,” she says. Unfortunately, that brave face can encourage others to try to make the dangerous journey themselves.

She once tried to make those photos that the boys take of themselves into something more true. One 16-year-old she met was passionate about photography. He was, she says, a “genius” at it. He wanted to be a filmmaker. After he survived for six days in a trucking container and arrived in Rome, Fazzina tried to get a camera to him through her colleagues in Italy. By that time he had left for Paris. They spoke by phone. He said that he had been told that he was too old when he went to a children’s home and that he was too young when he went to a refuge for adults. He was sleeping on the streets, in the winter, in the snow. She still hadn’t gotten a camera to him. He didn’t call again. “He just moved on. He disappeared. I have no idea what happened to him,” she says. “I am fearful what his fate is.”

Alixandra Fazzina is a British photojournalist. She is represented by NOOR Images and is the 2010 recipient of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. More information about Flowers of Afghanistan is available here.

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The United States and allied forces have been in Afghanistan for over ten years, an occupation that approaches the 2014 deadline for a full withdrawal of those forces. As the transition draws closer, problems with security, the economy, and cultural mores are growing even more apparent. Included in this monthly look at Afghanistan are images that highlight these issues, as well as images that point to a more hopeful future. The activist group YoungWomen4Change prepares posters demanding women's rights even as the horrific torture of 15-year-old Sahar Gul, who refused her husband's family's demands that she become a prostitute, came to light. Also included here are images of another Afghan girl, 12-year-old Tarana Akbari, who witnessed the terrible suicide bombing in Kabul that killed at least 80 Shiites during observances of the Ashura holiday. The bombing has raised fears of renewed sectarian violence. -- Lane Turner (37 photos total)
A man feeds pigeons in front of the Shrine of Hazrat Ali, or Blue Mosque, in Mazar-e-Sharif on December 22, 2011. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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WARNING: SOME IMAGES CONTAIN GRAPHIC CONTENT OR NUDITY
From the uprisings across the Arab world to the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, there was no lack of news in 2011. Reuters photographers covered the breaking news events as well as captured more intimate, personal stories. In this showcase, the photographers offer a behind the scenes account of the images that helped define the year.

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Brendan Bannon is a photojournalist on assignment for Polaris Images: "I first went to the Dadaab refugee camp, close to the border between Kenya and Somalia, at the end of 2006. Strangely enough, the camp was flooded then. The same parched ground recorded in my photographs was covered by 3 feet of water. Then, people were fleeing from the camp, not fleeing to the camp as they are today. Dadaab has become the largest refugee camp in the world, and Kenya’s fourth largest city: 440,000 people have gathered in makeshift shelters, made of branches and tarps. Experiencing Dadaab again last week was profoundly humbling. I was confronted with deep suffering and need. Slowing down and talking to people, I heard stories of indomitable courage and determination and of making horrible choices. Most of these people have survived 20 years of war in Somalia, two years of drought, and it’s only now that they are fleeing their homeland. They are accomplished survivors. One morning, I was talking to a family of ten. I poured a full glass of water from a pitcher and passed it to a child. He took a sip, and passed it on to his brother and so on. The last one returned it to me with enough left for the last gulp. Even in the camp, they take only what they need to survive and share the rest. What you see on the surface looks like extreme fragility, but it’s actually tremendous resilience and the extraordinary affirmation of their will to live." This post features a collection of Brendan's recent images from Dadaab refugee camp. They tell their own story. -- Paula Nelson (34 photos total)
A young Somali refugee boy and his terminally ill mother, Haretha Abdi at Dadaab refugee camp, near the border of Kenya and Somalia in the horn of Africa. (Brendan Bannon/Polaris Images)

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Paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan. The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology – a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami.

People loot a shop in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London’s most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer’s Olympic Games.

The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR’s Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 60 miles from the Somali border.The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates.

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Paper lanterns float along the Motoyasu River in front of the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome near Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. The Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing, as the nation fights a different kind of disaster from atomic technology - a nuclear plant in a meltdown crisis after being hit by a tsunami. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) #

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An Indian Muslim girl wears a fancy dress as she waits for noon prayers to begin at the Jama Masjid, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims throughout the world are marking the holy month of Ramadan, where observants fast from dawn till dusk. (AP Photo/ Kevin Frayer) #

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Artists of the Havana Company warm up before participating at the Circuba festival's opening gala in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. More than 100 circus artists from fourteen countries are participating at the 2011 Circuba festival to be held in Havana Aug. 8 - 14. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes) #

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Giraffe mother "Jujis" (L) looks after her giraffe baby "Thabo" in their enclosure at the zoo of Hanover, northern Germany on August 12, 2011. The 1.90 metre tall and 80 kilogramme heavy Rothschild giraffe baby will be fed by his mother for th next15 months. The Rothschild giraffe is among the most endangered giraffe subspecies with only a few hundred members in the wild. AFP PHOTO / HOLGER HOLLEMANN #

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Captain Max Ferguson, company commander of the US troops from the Charlie Company, 2-87 Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team play with Afghan children during a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers at Kandalay village in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on August 8, 2011 while US troops launched missile attacks on Taliban targets in nearby Kelawai village killing at least three and capturing two insurgents. US forces push their counterinsurgency efforts to battle for the hearts and minds of the local population. TOPSHOTS AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD #

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A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid meteor shower on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 in Vinton, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford) #

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A youth sits on a window sill surrounded by flood waters in Tikiapara, some 25 kms west of Kolkata, on August 10, 2011. The strength of the annual June-September downpour is vital to hundreds of millions of farmers and to economic growth in Asia's third largest economy which gets 80 percent of its annual rainfall during the monsoon. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu #

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A Somali lady stands with several jerry cans of water, ready to be transported by camel in the town of Dhobley on August 11, 2011. Idman is suffering from malaria and severe malnutrition, but his parents have no money to buy him drugs. With no health facilities in the region, the family are hoping to cross to Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex, some 100km away. Hundreds fleeing drought and famine-hit areas elsewhere in southern Somalia stream daily into the small town of simple tin shacks and huts. Although Dhobley is just five kilometres (three miles) from the Kenyan border, the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex -- the largest in the world with more than 400,000 people -- is still a tough 100-kilometre walk ahead. AFP PHOTO/PHIL MOORE #

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TOPSHOTS Supporters of former presidential challenger and opposition leader Kizza Besigye try to run away from Ugandan authorities in the town of Masaka in Uganda on August 10, 2011. Besigye pledged to join in with the protests at a candle-lit vigil in the town of Masaka, around 140 kilometres (87 miles) southwest of Kampala. Army and police fired teargas at a crowd of opposition supporters following the service as they tried to make their way to lay a wreath at the house where the child was shot. MICHELE SIBILONI/AFP/Getty Images #

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Representatives of the 21st Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York walk with a dragon head on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange before ringing the closing bell on August 11, 2011. US stocks made another dramatic comeback after a stunning fall on Thursday, in another day of extreme volatility in markets around the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average battled back from Wednesday's 520-point loss with a 3.94 percent gain, adding 422.84 points to close at 11,142.78. The broader S&P 500 rebounded 4.63 percent, up 51.87 points to 1,172.63, while the Nasdaq gained 111.63 points, or 4.69 percent, to 2,492.68. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images #

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A pregnant Somali woman sits by a tree trunk at UNHCR's Ifo Extension camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Tuesday Aug. 9, 2011. U.S. President Barack Obama has approved $105 million for humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa to combat worsening drought and famine. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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A Somali boy sings an Irish song to his classmates during class at the Illeys primary school in Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response.About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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People loot a shop in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/PA, Lewis Whyld) #

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A masked youth pulls a burning garbage bin set on fire by rioters in Hackney, east London, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Violence and looting spread across some of London's most impoverished neighborhoods on Monday, with youths setting fire to shops and vehicles, during a third day of rioting in the city that will host next summer's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #

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The sun sets behind a mast of a fishing boat as kids walk at the port of Palouki about 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Athens , Greece , on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #

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An Indian police officer hits news photographer Shekhar Ghosh, right, from the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, during a protest against corruption by supporters of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. Police used bamboo batons and water canons to control thousands of angry supporters of India's main opposition party who were marching in New Delhi to protest against the government's hosting of last year's Commonwealth Games among other corruption charges. Auditors slammed India's preparations and conduct of the Commonwealth Games last year as deeply flawed, riddled with favoritism and vastly more expensive than planned in a final report that could result in criminal prosecutions. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, workers fix an electrical power transmission tower in near the Sports City under construction in Greater Noida, India. The Indian car racing fraternity is banking on the Budh International Circuit near New Delhi to kick off a mass following for motor sports with its maiden Formula 1 race this year. Even as workers slog overtime to get the venue in shape, officials are growing confident of the event on Oct. 30 changing the face of car racing in India, a country of 1.2 billion where cricket reigns and other sports take a backseat. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan) #

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A Kashmiri woman removes lotus leaves from the water of Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. Dal Lake is famous for its natural beauty and a popular destination for both Indian and foreign tourists. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

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An Indian police officer looks from behind his rain covered shield during a monsoon rain shower as he and others stand guard at a protest by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. According to local news reports , India's monsoon rain index rose nearly 14 percent in the last week, an increase over the previous period where rain levels were down. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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Street beggars use a plastic sheet to take shelter from rain in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug.12, 2011. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

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Indian Muslim boys stand on a platform to offer prayers at a mosque in Allahabad, India, Friday, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims throughout the world are marking the month of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar where observants fast from dawn till dusk. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #

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Indian Muslim men smoke as they break the Ramadan fast near the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Muslims around the world are marking the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where the observant fast from dawn until dusk. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend a prayer as they gather in the religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim to protest against summer events organized by the city council, Jerusalem, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

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Somali boys walk in the Dagahaley refugee camp north of Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 kms (60 miles) from the Somali border, Thursday Aug. 11, 2011. The United Nations warned Wednesday that the famine in East Africa hasn't peaked and hundreds of thousands of people face imminent starvation and death without a massive global response. About 1,300 new refugees arrive each day in Dadaab camps in northeastern Kenya. The new influx are running away from a famine that is getting worse in southern Somalia as an al-Qaida-linked militants in the country barred some major aid groups from operating in its areas of control, worsening the situation of the most vulnerable people. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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The shrouded body of 12-month-old Liin Muhumed Surow lays before burial at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km (60 miles) from the Somali border,Saturday Aug. 6, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, her father Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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Muhumed Surow grieves following the burial of his 12-month-old daughter Liin Muhumed Surowlays at UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, 100 km (60 miles) from the Somali border, Saturday Aug. 6, 2011. Liin died of malnutrition 25 days after reaching the camp, Mumumed said. The drought and famine in the horn of Africa has killed more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 in the last 90 days in southern Somalia alone, according to U.S. estimates. The U.N. says 640,000 Somali children are acutely malnourished, suggesting the death toll of small children will rise. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay) #

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In this Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 photo, U.S. Army Pvt. 1st Class David Hedge from Bealeton, Va., front, and fellow soldiers from 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment are bathed in rotor wash moments after arriving by Blackhawk helicopter for an operation to disrupt weapons smuggling in Istaqlal, north of Baghdad, Iraq. A radical anti-American Shiite cleric is calling on U.S. troops in Iraq to leave the country and go back to their families or risk more attacks. The rare statement by Muqtada al-Sadr was translated into English and posted Tuesday on his website. In it, the powerful Iraqi cleric appeals directly to the roughly 46,000 U.S. troops still in the country. He says Iraq does not need their help.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) #

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An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man sleeps as others pray during the mourning ritual of Tisha B'Av at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. The Jewish holy day of Tisha B'Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the biblical temples, is marked Tuesday. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

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A Palestinian baby sleeps in his carrycot while Palestinian women attempt to pass the checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Aug. 12, 2011. Muslims around the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan where they refrain from eating, drinking, smoking from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

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In this photo taken on a government-organized tour a woman holds up an image of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during a protest in front of the Hungarian embassy in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Dozens of reported residents of the town of Majar, where the Libyan government claims that 85 civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike last Aug. 9, protested in front of the Hungarian embassy which is currently representing the U.S and the European Union interests in Libya, to demand a stop to the NATO airstrikes. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #

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This image released by the District Governor of Spitsbergen's office shows the dead male polar bear which had attacked youths who were camping on a remote Arctic glacier as part of a high-end adventure holiday at Spitsbergen, Svalbard archipelago, in Norway, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 . The polar bear was shot and killed by other members of the group. The attack took place on the Svalbard archipelago, which is home to about 2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears and one British youth was killed in the attack. (AP Photo / Arild Lyssand / District governor of Spitsbergens office / via Scanpix) NORWAY OUT #

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Somalia Transitional Government soldiers prepare to take positions near Mogadishu, Somalia stadium Sunday Aug, 7, 2011, after a brief fight with Al Shabaab fighters. Islamist fighters withdrew Saturday from almost all their bases in the famine-struck Somali capital, the most significant gain for the embattled U.N.-backed government in four years. Commanders toured newly abandoned positions Saturday, including a former sports stadium where the militia's tire marks were fresh in the grass.(AP Photo/ Farah Abdi Warsameh). #

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A jockey races along the beach during the traditional beach race on the Sanlucar de Barrameda's beach in southern Spain, on Aug. 10, 2011. Sanlucar horse racing dates back to 1845 and is one of the oldest in Europe; it currently takes place near the mouth of the Rio Guadalquivir several times during the month of August. (AP Photo/Miguel Gomez) #

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Riot police block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko outside the Pecherskiy District Court in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. A court in the Ukrainian capital has arrested former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for violations of procedure during her abuse-of-office trial. Tymoshenko, the country's top opposition leader, has criticized the trial as an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovych to bar her from elections. She has refused, as required, to stand up while addressing the judge, repeatedly insulted him and questioned his objectivity. Her supporters also have repeatedly disrupted hearings. (AP Photo/Sergey Svetlitsky) #

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The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating.

Faduma Sakow Abdullahiand her five children tried to escape starvation in Somalia by journeying to a Kenyan refugee camp. Only one day before they reached their destination, her 4-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son died of exhaustion and hunger. At first the 29-year-old widow thought the two were merely sleeping when they wouldn’t get up after a brief rest. She had to leave their bodies under a tree, unburied, so she could push on with her baby, 2-year-old and 3-year-old. She saw more than 20 other children dead or unconscious abandoned on the roadside. Eventually a passing car rescued the rest of her family from what could have been death.

“I never thought I would live to see this horror,” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks as she described the 37-day trek to Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp.

Tens of thousands of Somalis have watched their land dry up after years without rain. Then the livestock died. Finally all the food ran out. Now they are making the perilous journey over parched earth to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, regions that also have been hit hard by drought.

 East Africa Drought

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Recently-arrived Somali refugees wait to fill jerry cans with water at a newly-installed tank in Iffou 2, an area earmarked for refugee camp expansion, but yet to be approved by the Kenyan government, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, July 11, 2011. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

 East Africa Drought

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Members of the family of Rage Mohamed are overtaken by wind-blown dust as they build a makeshift shelter around a thorny acacia tree, on the outskirts of Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Sunday, July 10, 2011. It took the 15-person family five days to make the journey from their drought-stricken home in Somalia. They spent two nights sleeping in the open air under the tree prior to receiving tarps on Sunday. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

 East Africa Drought

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A young Somali girl who fled violence and drought in Somalia stands in line among adults outside a food distribution point in Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya on July 5, 2011. Dadaab, a complex of three settlements, is the world's largest refugee camp. Built to house 90,000 people and home to more than four times that number, it was already well over its maximum capacity before an influx of 30,000 refugees in the month of June. Upon arrival, the refugees find themselves tackling a chaotic system that sees new arrivals go days, even weeks, without food aid. "It still takes too much time for refugees to get proper assistance," Antoine Froidevaux, MSF's field coordinator in Dadaab told AFP. "The answer in terms of humanitarian aid is not satisfactory at all at the moment." ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 East Africa Drought

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A Somali woman waiting amongst scores of other refugees, all hoping to receive their ration cards despite a processing backlog, pleads with an organizer in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, July 11, 2011. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

 East Africa Drought

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A Somali man who fled violence and drought in Somalia with his family sits on the ground outside a food distribution point in the Dadaab refugee camp. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 East Africa Drought

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One-year-old, Habibo Bashir, rests on a bed at a Doctors Without Borders hospital where he is being treated for severe malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, July 11, 2011. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

 East Africa Drought

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A refugee holds her child in her arms as she and others like her mass outside a food distribution point in Dadaab in the hope of getting access to much needed aid at the worlds biggest refugee camp in the world on July 4, 2011. With a population of 370,000, Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp even though it was built for just 90,000. With serious drought in the Horn of Africa, thousands of Somalis have arrived in recent weeks in search of food and water. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT #

 East Africa Drought

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A Somali refugee drags a sack with food aid given to her at a food distribution point at the Dadaab refugee camp. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 East Africa Drought

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Refugees newly arrived from Somalia line up to receive food rations at a receiving center in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 1300 new refugees fleeing drought and hunger in Somalia are arriving daily in the Dadaab area. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

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Somali refugees wait in line to recieve aid at a food distribution point at Dadaab refugee camp. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Somali man accesses a water point at the Dadaab refugee camp on July 4, 2011. With a population of 370,000, Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp even though it was built for just 90,000. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 East Africa Drought

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A Somali girl being treated for severe malnutrition pushes away a cup as a woman tries to feed her at a hospital operated by the International Rescue Commission. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

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A Somali refugee waits to receive a food ration for her and her family at a food distribution point. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 East Africa Drought

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Somali refugees sit in the yard of their makeshift shelter, fenced in with thorny branches, in Iffou 2, an area earmarked for refugee camp expansion, but yet to be approved by the Kenyan government, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, July 11, 2011. U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday that drought-ridden Somalia is the "worst humanitarian disaster" in the world, after meeting with refugees who endured unspeakable hardship to reach the world's largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

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A Somali woman walks past the frame for a sparsely-covered makeshift shelter in Iffou 2, an area earmarked for refugee camp expansion. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

 East Africa Drought

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A carcass of an animal lies on an empty road, near Lagbogal, 56 kilometers from Wajir town, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, (AP Photo/ Sayyid Azim) #

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Sixty-year-old Suban Osman sits with two of her malnourished grand children at a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) at the Dadaab refugee camp on July 4, 2011. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

 East Africa Drought

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Two-year-old, Aden Salaad, looks up toward his mother, unseen, as she bathes him in a tub at a Doctors Without Borders hospital, where Aden is receiving treatment for malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) #

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A Somali boy uses a wheelbarrow to carry two jerry cans filled with water to a tent that he and his family call home at the worlds biggest refugee camp. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Two-year-old Shiniyo looks while bundled in her mothers arms while they stay at a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

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A Kenyan doctor looks at the IV drip on a child suffering from severe malnutrition at a clinic run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) at the Dadaab refugee camp on July 4, 2011. With a population of 370,000, Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp even though it was built for just 90,000. According to Doctors Without Borders, the number of people seeking refugee keeps swelling and Dadaab will house 450,000 refugees by the end of the year, or twice the population of Geneva. With serious drought in the Horn of Africa, thousands of Somalis have arrived in recent weeks in search of food and water. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Children walk down a dusty street in Dadaab refugee camp on July 4, 2011. Fatimah who fled violence in Somalia with her family one year ago says that she does not venture outside the camp to look for firewood because it is too dangerous. With a population of 370,000, Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp even though it was built for just 90,000. With serious drought in the Horn of Africa, thousands of Somalis have arrived in recent weeks in search of food and water. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images #

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