A deadly bomb blast in Mogadishu on Saturday claimed more than 300 lives and injured hundreds more. The attack took place just 300 metres from Islamic Relief’s office in the Somali capital, shattering its doors and windows. Mercifully, none of our staff was injured, though the tragedy weighs heavily on our minds.
Almost a year ago to the day, a violent attack in Mandera, Kenya, claimed the lives of two members of Islamic Relief staff, Evans Araka Moruri and Levis Mwalimu. Evans was the main breadwinner for his family and was due to marry soon. Levis was working for Islamic Relief to help fund his Masters degree.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those whose lives were cut short by this tragedy,” said Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide. “This attack is a reminder of the bravery of our staff in conflict zones who risk their lives every working day to support those who need our assistance.”
Islamic Relief has relocated its Mogadishu staff to other parts of Somalia but with the country in the grips of a devastating drought, our critical work continues.
Islamic Relief has been working in Somalia for over a decade and is currently delivering emergency relief in the Horn of Africa and South Sudan. An estimated 20 million people are facing severe food and water shortages in the region due to sustained drought and conflict.
Our current work in Somalia includes a £1m recovery programme that will plough farmland and supply farming tools, seeds and goats to increase the food security of 3,000 families. We are also creating 10 underground tanks to capture rainfall and drilling 15 wells to supply year-round clean water to more than 100,000 people.
Islamic Relief is monitoring the security situation across Somalia whilst continuing its efforts to deliver life-saving aid. In 2011-2012, around 250,000 people lost their lives before famine was declared. Our urgent intervention is required now, before it is too late.