There is a disaster gripping the Horn of Africa. The worst drought in 60 years, intensified by rising food prices and conflict, has left more than 11 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya without food, water and health care.
The United Nations have declared a famine in two areas of Somalia and warn that it may well spread to other areas due to poor harvests and infectious disease outbreaks.
In Somalia alone, at least four million lives are under threat. People are in danger not only from hunger and drought, but also from the endless war conditions. The numbers of families from the drought affected regions moving to the capital of Mogadishu and neighbouring countries are increasing every day.
SOS Children’s Villages are launching a relief effort in the region, particularly in the areas of Mogadishu in Somalia and Gobe in Ethiopia.
Both are areas where SOS have had a long-standing presence. For many years SOS Children's Villages has been one of the very few NGOs working in Mogadishu, where it runs a major clinic for women and children that has been essential to medical care in the capital for over 20 years.
A team from SOS Children’s Villages in Somalia have conducted an assessment of the needs of the families displaced by drought in 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. There is the threat of a measles epidemic, as well as diarrhoea, respiratory infections, malaria and skin disorders. Some of the shelter is no more than just plastic sheeting, and some families do not even have this.
SOS Children's Villages is planning to set up a therapy and food centre for undernourished children in the SOS Clinic, as well as a mobile clinic and immunisation centre in the local camps. Medical emergencies can be treated in the SOS Clinic. Play materials are also given out to children in the camps.
|photo credit: SOS Archives|
SOS Children's Villages will also are planning to set up an emergency relief programme in Southern Ethiopia. In the past decades SOS Children's Villages has repeatedly provided disaster relief in Gode and other regions of Ethiopia because of recurrent droughts. Gode lies in one of the driest areas of Ethiopia.
Thanks to the existing infrastructure and expertise of SOS Children's Villages co-workers, we are able to provide relief aid in this location for mothers and their children. The plan is to distribute food and put sustainable development measures in place to secure families' survival in the long term.
In Somalia and Ethiopia we need people to stand with children and families in need.
Please donate now to help SOS Children’s Villages support those affected by this disaster.