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Anonymous from Somalia: Planning for Mogadishu

Anonymous from Somalia: Day 2

It’s only recently that international staff have been allowed back in Mogadishu, and security is understandably extremely tight. Anyone going in has several security briefings, and will stay in touch via phone the whole time.

Before any trip to Mogadishu or other areas in south central Somalia, we undertake a risk assessment. It’s a simple calculation, underpinned by thorough risk analysis and security protocols.

But there is no avoiding the fact that aid worker kidnap or death can happen, no matter how stringent our security. So the simple calculation is likelihood of harm versus the aid we can deliver.

Terrified every second

That our team leader is willing to lead a team in speaks volumes about the situation there, and her belief that we can save lives on the ground. She tells me that she is terrified every second her team are in the field in places like Mogadishu.

Food is distributed as part of a blanket feeding distribution in Somalia – all children under 5, and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in the area will receive 6kg of Corn Soya Blend and 600 ml of oil – enough food for one month

We’ve all heard statements that aid isn’t getting through, that we are misleading the public, that Somalia is so far gone that it is beyond help.

It isn’t, and we are proving it. Somalia is one of the most difficult (and dangerous) places on earth to deliver aid, but if it is hard for us to get life-saving supplies through, what must it be like to live here, to give birth here, to try and build a future here?

Working for 40 years

Save the Children has worked in Somalia for 40 years – including south central Somalia for 20, and we also work in Puntland and Somaliland – delivering aid, distributing water, helping communities to rebuild.

We’ve recently expanded to new areas as the food crisis deepens its stranglehold and more people face starvation.

Just this week Save the Children flew in over 5,000 cartons of nutritional supplies – into Mogadishu. From there it gets trucked out to nutrition centres throughout south central Somalia.

Finding out what familes need

It will support 5,000 malnourished children for 8 weeks. We are on the ground, but we can’t talk about exact locations or programmes – because it could place our teams at risk.

I am planning my visit to talk to families in Mogadishu, establishing what help they need most urgently, and how we can deliver it.

I will remain anonymous in this blog, because it is safer for everyone. But I want to show that we can, and we are, delivering aid in Somalia.

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