Islamic Relief this week began the second phase of its drought emergency response, with food distribution and health programmes targeting internally displaced people (IDP) in Somalia.
Since November 2016, 536,000 people have been displaced in the drought-ravaged country. 70,000 have arrived in Baidoa and around 72,000 in Mogadishu in March alone, in search of food and water.
This week, the Islamic Relief team visited a refugee camp situated in Tredisho, 13 kilometres outside of Mogadishu. According to regional director, Yusuf Ahmed, the majority of people living in the camp were women, children and elderly men.
“In all my years working in the humanitarian sector, I have not seen this level of suffering. We found so many cases of malnourished, weak and ill children. Many of the adults were too tired to talk to us. I have also seen cases of newborn babies, some of them just two days old, whose mothers were too weak and ill to nurse their young children.”
Islamic Relief distributed food targeting 346 households. Food packs consisted of rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil, milk powder and porridge, which will sustain one family for a month.
“There are many new IDP’s who arrived at the camp in need of emergency relief. These individuals were mainly farmers and pastoralists who were forced to leave their homes after the water dried up and their livestock died.”
Meanwhile in the Caynabo refugee camp, situated 120km from Burao in Somaliland, Islamic Relief distributed food and water targeting 500 households (approximately 3,700 people). Further aid distributions took place in Waridaad for an additional 400 households.
“Many of the people in these internally displaced camps have walked for days to be closer to a town. Today for the first time through the generous donations of Islamic Relief donors that the members of this camp received food and water,” Islamic Relief Canada’s Mahmood Qasim said.
Aid organizations are scaling up their operations to include treatment and prevention of acute watery diarrhea and cholera and prevention of measles. Islamic Relief deployed its mobile health team to the Tredisho camp who provided basic health screenings to refugee families. Serious cases were transported by ambulance to the nearest clinic in Mogadishu.
Islamic Relief Somalia continues its water-trucking services, reaching approximately 10,000 people in the Banadir region, on a daily basis.
“We have more aid distributions planned in the next few weeks and will strive to assist more vulnerable families. Islamic Relief We will continue to support internally displaced people in refugee camps. We are also distributing non-food items such as plastic sheeting and kitchen kits,” Ahmed added.