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Mourning in Mogadishu

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Photographer Jared Moossy traveled to Somalia this September, photographing a country ravaged by famine. He visited two refugee camps, near Bald Hawa and Dolo, and the capital, Mogadishu. What he saw -- and what he photographed -- was a country ravaged by decades of war, drought, and terrorism.

Above, women in Bald Hawa, gather to express their frustration and tell their stories -- where they had traveled from, why they had left -- while waiting for a food aid to be delivered. Several people in the group had walked for days to reach the refugee camp; many had lost family members along the way. 

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Above, a woman in Bald Hawa holds her 5-year-old son, who is suffering from malnutrition. They were angered by the  lack of aid and supplies from the Somali government and international community. In this area, which is along the border with Kenya, very little food aid had been received.

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Thousands of people wait for food distribution at Bald Hawa. On this day in September, the NGO running the food distribution, the Global Enrichment Foundation, estimated there were about 5,000 families waiting for aid.

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Above, three women stand in Dolo, Somalia, along the border with Ethiopia.  The women are waiting to be assessed by doctors so that they can receive food aid. Doctors assess the need of each person before sending them to the food distribution line. In Mogadishu, people are given identity cards to prove that their famlies are in need, but this camp did not have the infrastructure to do so. Instead, need is determined through medical assessments, as well as meetings with elders of the community, to see which residents are most in need. 

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Thousands line up for food aid in Bald Hawa.  

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Women leave the food collection line with bags of food in Bald Hawa.

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In the background, people wait in line for food. The women in front have just been approved to join the line after receiving a medical examination. A typical bag of food aid contains flour, oil, and rice -- basics for cooking. 

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People begin to leave the distribution location in Bald Hawa. Distribution areas are set up outside of refugee camps; there were five such camps in this area being served by the same distribution center. Trying to distrbute aid within the chaotic camps is a problem, as there is no way to provide security for either the regugees or the aid workers. Here, Ethiopean soldiers guarding the border come to provide security. 

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While waiting for food distribution in Bald Hawa, a dust storm rises up.

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A scene from the Dolo camp taken from inside a makeshift house. Refugees collect what branches, fabric, and scraps of tarps they can, weaving them into small huts to provide some protection from the sun and wind.

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A line of people stretches across the horizon as thousands wait for food in Bald Hawa. On this day in September, the line was some 10 hours long.

 

Above, a young boy lies beneath mosquito netting at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. He entered the hospital due to malnutrition, but once there, his immune system could not protect him from disease, and he was showing signs of malaria.

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Another young boy suffering from malnutrition. The hospitals face a chronic shortage of doctors due to violence and dangerous conditions. There are only a few doctors in Mogadishu, and they must be constantly accompanied by security. They also can't work at night because it is too danergous, further reducing the already limited medical resources available. 

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Cribs covered in mosquito netting sit in Banadir hospital. On the ground, between the cribs, was two to three inches of standing water -- a fertile breeding ground for malarial mosquitos. 

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Above, children play on the coast of Mogadishu. The water is beautiful, but no one can enjoy it. There's nothing left. Once upon a time, there was beautiful Italian architecture and a lively and vibrant cultural life. But after 40 years of war, the entire city's been razed to the ground.  

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Men belonging to a militia-for-hire sit with their guns in Mogadishu. Such groups provide security for politicians, journalists, or anyone else requiring safe passage -- and with enough money.

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Ruined buildings line Mogadishu's coast. 

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An unusual scene of public life in Mogadishu. Even in the capital, it is very rare to see this many people out. This photo was taken about a week and a half after al Shabab, a Islamist terrorist group, had been pushed out of the area by African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces.

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