Widely-acclaimed actress Scarlett Johansson is calling for “extreme action” to challenge the gripping Horn of Africa crisis and famine that is paralyzing Somalia.
In late September, Johansson went to Kenya to visit the Dadaab refugee camp in the northeastern part of the country. Johansson went as an ambassador for the humanitarian organization Oxfam.
Johansson went to the refugee camp to highlight the severity of the crisis and the plight of the people within the Dadaab camp, but also to shine a light upon the work that Oxfam is doing in terms of providing services to the refugees including, water, sanitation, latrines, and other basic services in order to enable the survival of people in the camp.
Johansson has said of the crisis, “I was first stuck by the mass of it.” She also said. “The scale of poverty in Dadaab is overwhelming.”
Johansson has been blogging about her experience in the region on the Huffington Post and has said, “Pastoralists, farmers and fishermen have seen their means of survival virtually die off, while entire communities are left in a state of flux and starvation with no means of relief.”
She added that the media has been “inconsistent and insufficient” in highlighting the crisis in the Horn of African and Somalia and said, “These issues need to be addressed on a global scale immediately.”
The Dadaab refugee camp, the largest in the world, in becoming increasingly inundated with more and more people escaping eastern Somalia across the border into Kenya.
The camp was declared at full capacity in 2008, but continues to receive anywhere from 600 to 1,500 refugees daily, as every week more people are searching for refuge from the drought-impacted and famine–stricken Somalia.
Most of the Somali refugees in the camp come from eastern Somalia, the most famine impacted region in the country, where Al-Shabaab holds a tight grip on the region and is not allowing most aid groups to come in and provide aid and services to the people.