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Courtesy of Dominic Raimondo

Dominic Raimondo was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. They were a group of young boys (and girls) displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

Raimondo now lives in Salt Lake City, but even from that long distance, the culture of his homeland is always on his mind.

That's why he visited the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya last year, where hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan have settled. 

Lina Shahab turns slowly and painfully in her hospital bed. Her lips are dry and cracked. Her right eye is swollen shut. There is hardly a patch on her skin that is not marked by shrapnel wounds.

“Suddenly, we heard a boom,” she says softly, describing the explosion that put her here.

“I couldn’t see anything. Glass went into my eye. A hole opened up in the floor and I fell through it. I saw everything burning. I saw my aunt and her kids dead on the other side of the room.”

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National Police/Reuters

At the bottom of a cement glen, by the banks of the canal, there’s a tiny store that sells green plantains, cola and cigarettes. But they are out of plantains.

The woman who tends the store, who goes by Xiomara, often has to fight the urge to run away. She compares the desire to escape to something taking over her body.

“I’ll be fine and then from one minute to the next, I want to get out," Xiomara says. "I just want to go. I want out. I need to leave.”

When she gets this way she lights up a smoke and maybe watches some TV.

I
Esther Honig

Outside an old, brick apartment complex, Virginia Nunes Gutierrez pulls two large, plastic garbage bags from the trunk of her white Ford Explorer. “We have a diaper fund, so we buy diapers," for immigrant families in need, Nunes Gutierrez explains. “Also, we have some clothes that the church donated.”

Her arms full, Nunes Gutierrez climbs the steps to one front door and knocks. She says this is her third trip to this house.

Drought doesn't cause famine. People do.

Mar 27, 2017
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Siegfried Modola / Reuters

The United Nations announced this month that more than 20 million people in four countries are teetering on the edge of famine, calling the situation “the worst humanitarian crisis” since the end of World War II.

The key for avoiding the worst outcomes? Political will, experts say.

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