The whole of the horn of Africa region has been hit by the worst drought in 60 years which has left more than 11 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and the newly formed Republic of South Sudan in urgent need of food, water and emergency healthcare.
We are one of the only aid organisations working in the rebel-controlled city of Baidoa and desperately need your help so we can support the victims of the East Africa famine. If you make a one-off donation you can give directly to our Emergency Relief Programme in Somalia, or by taking out a child sponsorship you will help us to focus on the needs of children who have lost their parents in the current famine crisis.
Listen to an interview with The National Director of SOS Children in Somalia
Ahmed Ibraham, the National Director of SOS Children in Somalia, describes the situation in the country and the problems faced by the tens of thousands of displaced families. He talks about how SOS Children's Emergency Relief Appeal is making a difference to children and families on the ground in refugee camps:
In Somalia alone, at least four million lives are under threat, with the numbers of families from the drought affected regions moving to the capital of Mogadishu and neighbouring countries increasing every day. According to the UNHCR, 5,200 people moved into Mogadishu in June 2011.
Emergency Relief for families in Mogadishu in Somalia
A team from SOS Somalia has conducted an assessment of the needs of the families displaced by drought from the Agro-pastoral areas to Mogadishu. Our colleagues have reported that most of the children and elderly in the displaced camps in and around Mogadishu are malnourished, and most children have not been vaccinated against immunisable diseases. They say there is a 'complete lack' of healthcare as well as major food insecurity.
Given the desperate nature of the situation, we are going to establish an Emergency Relief Programme in and around the Dharkenley refugee camp in Mogadishu, which will:
- Establish a therapeutic feeding centre
- Provide food packages and food vouchers
- Establish an immunisation centre
- Address the crucial constraints of the healthcare services for the displaced population by establishing a mobile health clinic
- Provide play materials for children to address psychosocial needs
- Provide referral services to the SOS Hospital for patients
Emergency Relief for families in Baidoa in Somalia
We are also expanding our operations to support tens of thousands of displaced people in the city of Baidoa. Families from the Bay and Bakool regions in central Somalia have fled south to the city in search of food and medicine, and over 40,000 displaced people are now living in two refugee camps there.
SOS Children are one of the only aid organisations working in this region. With the permission of the rebels in control of the area, we havecarried out an assessment of the situation in Baidoa to determine the needs of the families living there. The assessment found that families living in the two camps lack medical support. Families have hardly any shelter in the camps and access to food for the displaced families is severely inadequate.
SOS Children are currently preparing the Emergency Relief Programme in Baidoa, which will include:
- The provision of food rations for approximately 2,500 families
- Establishing a mobile clinic in the camp, which will provide specialist mother and child health services, treat patients with common diseases and provide essential drugs, as well as health and nutritional education
- Running an immunisation programs to protect children from diseases such as measles, which are highly contagious in densely populated camps
- Establishing a therapeutic feeding centre to improve nutritional services for children. This includes providing basic nutrition supplies and equipment as well as staff training.
We are also planning Emergency Relief Programmes in Ethiopia in the Gode region, and in Marsabit, Northern Kenya.
How you can help
You can make a one-off donation directly to our Emergency Relief Programme in Somalia, or take out a child sponsorship to help us to focus on the long-term welfare of children who have no one to care for them as a result of the famine.
Right in the middle of the increasing humanitarian crisis in the horn of Africa you will find SOS Children working where we have been working for decades. As always, we are there before the crisis starts, and still there long after the TV cameras have gone home.