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'Kids are definitely starving,' says NW aid worker in Somalia

Somalia, August 18, 2011

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Hal Bernton

The Seattle Times
August, 2011

Mercy Corps, a Portland-based aid group, is part of an expanding international aid effort in war-torn Somalia trying to respond to a devastating famine in the Horn of African.

Mogadishu, Somalia, is the front lines of the Horn of Africa famine.

It's a capital city of makeshift camps filled with emaciated parents and their malnourished children, according to Cassandra Nelson, a veteran Mercy Corps aid worker who recently spent three days there.

"I have never ever seen so many people so close to death," Nelson said in a Wednesday telephone interview with The Seattle Times from Kenya. "Kids are definitely starving. There is no doubt. "

Mercy Corps, a Portland-based international aid organization with an office in Seattle, is part of an expanding international relief effort under way in Mogadishu in the aftermath of the withdrawal of rebel fighters from their bases in the city.