Hungry Somalis marry off their daughters for survival

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST 13 Photos
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Zeinab, 14, sits as she holds her nephew at a camp for internally displaced people from drought hit areas in Dollow, Somalia. Last year, an older man offered $1,000 for her dowry, enough to take her extended family to Dollow, a Somali town on the Ethiopian border where international aid agencies are handing out food and water to families fleeing a devastating drought. Zeinab refused. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, sits as she holds her nephew at a camp for internally displaced people from drought hit areas in Dollow, Somalia. Last year, an older man offered $1,000 for her dowry, enough to take her extended family to Dollow, a Somali town on the Ethiopian border where international aid agencies are handing out food and water to families fleeing a devastating drought. Zeinab refused. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab's sister Habiba, 29, feeds her baby as she sits beside a teapot at a camp for internally displaced people from drought hit areas in Dollow. The exchange, is typical of the choices facing Somali families after two years of poor rains. Crops withered and the white bones of livestock are scattered across the Horn of Africa nation. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab's sister Habiba, 29, feeds her baby as she sits beside a teapot at a camp for internally displaced people from drought hit areas in Dollow. The exchange, is typical of the choices facing Somali families after two years of poor rains. Crops withered and the white bones of livestock are scattered across the Horn of Africa nation. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, poses for a photograph beside her shelter at a camp. The disaster is part of an arc of hunger and violence threatening 20 million people as it stretches across Africa into the Middle East. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, poses for a photograph beside her shelter at a camp. The disaster is part of an arc of hunger and violence threatening 20 million people as it stretches across Africa into the Middle East. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, (C) washes dishes as her mother Abdir Hussein gestures and her nephews play. It extends from the red soil of Nigeria in the west, where Boko Haram’s six-year jihadist insurgency has forced 2 million people to flee their homes, to Yemen’s white deserts in the east, where warring factions block aid while children starve. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, (C) washes dishes as her mother Abdir Hussein gestures and her nephews play. It extends from the red soil of Nigeria in the west, where Boko Haram’s six-year jihadist insurgency has forced 2 million people to flee their homes, to Yemen’s white deserts in the east, where warring factions block aid while children starve. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab's English teacher Abdiweli Mohammed Hersi teaches children at the school near a camp. Between them lie Somalia’s parched sands and the swamps of oil-rich South Sudan, where starving families fleeing three years of civil war survive on water-lily roots. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab's English teacher Abdiweli Mohammed Hersi teaches children at the school near a camp. Between them lie Somalia’s parched sands and the swamps of oil-rich South Sudan, where starving families fleeing three years of civil war survive on water-lily roots. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, writes in class at a school near a camp. Parts of South Sudan are already suffering famine, the first in six years. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, writes in class at a school near a camp. Parts of South Sudan are already suffering famine, the first in six years. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, walks to school at a camp for internally displaced people from drought hit areas in Dollow. In Somalia, the United Nations says more than half the 12 million population need aid. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, walks to school at a camp for internally displaced people from drought hit areas in Dollow. In Somalia, the United Nations says more than half the 12 million population need aid. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, attends a class. A similar drought in 2011, exacerbated by years of civil war, sparked the world’s last famine, which killed 260,000 people. Now the country teeters on the brink again. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, attends a class. A similar drought in 2011, exacerbated by years of civil war, sparked the world’s last famine, which killed 260,000 people. Now the country teeters on the brink again. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, looks in a small mirror as she brushes her teeth using a chewing stick inside her shelter. At the moment, the death toll is still in the hundreds but the numbers will spike if the March-May rains fail. The forecast is not good. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, looks in a small mirror as she brushes her teeth using a chewing stick inside her shelter. At the moment, the death toll is still in the hundreds but the numbers will spike if the March-May rains fail. The forecast is not good. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, applies her make-up before heading to school. As U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to slash aid budgets, the United Nations says the drought and conflicts in the four countries are fuelling humanity’s greatest collective disaster since World War Two. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, applies her make-up before heading to school. As U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to slash aid budgets, the United Nations says the drought and conflicts in the four countries are fuelling humanity’s greatest collective disaster since World War Two. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, (Rear C) stands in a daily morning queue to recite verses of the Koran and national songs before the beginning of class at the school. Missing from the statistics are the heart-wrenching choices families make every day to survive. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, (Rear C) stands in a daily morning queue to recite verses of the Koran and national songs before the beginning of class at the school. Missing from the statistics are the heart-wrenching choices families make every day to survive. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab, 14, (2nd L) poses for photograph with her family beside their shelter. Weighed against Zeinab’s dreams were the lives of 20 nieces and nephews, the sons and daughters of her three elder sisters, all married young and all widowed or divorced. There was also her careworn older brother, her gap-toothed younger sister and her middle-aged parents. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab, 14, (2nd L) poses for photograph with her family beside their shelter. Weighed against Zeinab’s dreams were the lives of 20 nieces and nephews, the sons and daughters of her three elder sisters, all married young and all widowed or divorced. There was also her careworn older brother, her gap-toothed younger sister and her middle-aged parents. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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Zeinab (2nd L), 14, helps her mother Abdir (L) and her sisters Farhiya and Habiba (R) to build a new shelter at a camp. Once the family had cows and goats and three donkeys that they hired out with carts for transport. But the animals died around them and Zeinab became their only hope of escape. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

Zeinab (2nd L), 14, helps her mother Abdir (L) and her sisters Farhiya and Habiba (R) to build a new shelter at a camp. Once the family had cows and goats and three donkeys that they hired out with carts for transport. But the animals died around them and Zeinab became their only hope of escape. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON APR 11, 2017 08:58 AM IST
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