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The faces of famine: Peter Power in Somalia

The Somalia famine was vastly more disastrous than the world realized, a new study has found. Nearly 260,000 people died in the famine between 2010 to 2012 – including 133,000 children under the age of five – making it one of the deadliest famines of the past 25 years. The death toll is about three times worse than previous estimates. Even worse, it was a man-made disaster – and a preventable one – triggered by war, extremism, and official neglect. For nearly a year before the famine was officially declared, there were a series of escalating warnings from expert agencies. Yet the world did little until 120,000 people were already dead. Can the world finally learn the lessons of Somalia?

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Mogadishu, Somalia. September 5, 2011. Images at Banadir Hospital where many people, mostly young children, are being treated for severe malnutrition, measles, and other diseases. The father of this child, who had just arrived in the emergency ward, tries to feed him water from the top of a tin.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Mogadishu, Somalia. September 5, 2011. A father holds his child’s hand in the emergency room at Banadir Hospital.

Peter Power/Globe and Mail

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Fatima Moalim, 28, brushes away flies around her 18-month-old daughter, Hawa, in the emergency ward of the hospital. Hawa was being treated for diaharea and vomiting.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Somali IDPs (or internal displaced persons) in a camp in Mogadishu called Badbaado on Sept. 5, 2011. Refugee children walk inside the camp, that is partially built in and around ruined buildings.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Two mounds in the sand mark fresh graves of children who passed away during the night at the Sayidka camp for internally displaced persons in Mogadishu, Somalia on Sept. 6, 2011.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Children and their mothers receiving food and treatment , mostly for severe malnutrition and measels, at the hospital that MSF has established in Mogadishu, Somalia on Sept. 7, 2011. The adults, caregivers, are given a rice mixture to help them while they wait for the children to stabilize. The children should not eat the rice, but when they begin to reach for it it is a sign that their appetite is returning, and they are moved to another area to continue treatment.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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