Many of the refugees are children who don’t survive the exhausting journey, or who die even after they reach the camps because they arrive so hungry and frail.

The United Nations says many Somali children are arriving at refugee camps in neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia in such weak shape that they are dying within 24 hours despite emergency care and feeding.

A spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency Melissa Fleming says an unknown number of children under the age of five are dying from hunger and exhaustion as their families flee violence compounded by drought in Somalia.

Ms. Fleming said on Tuesday that more than 135,000 Somalis have fled so far this year - including 54,000 in June, three times as many as in May.

She told reporters in Geneva that many of those are children who don’t survive the exhausting journey, or who die even after they reach the camps because they arrive so hungry and frail.

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