Somalia: severe food crisis, more aid needed
I arrived in Nairobi early last week, and have been briefed on different aspects of our response to the food crisis, and the difficulties of delivering aid to a country with such a complex set of problems.
I am in Somalia, trying to find out what the situation is really like for children living here, and to see how we can better assist.
He explained to me that he and his family had travelled by foot for several hundred kilometres from Mogadishu, and that the others were from across different parts of southern Somalia, fleeing drought and conflict.
His biggest concern is ensuring that the people he supports have enough to eat, clean water and access to healthcare.
Their camp is a barren wasteland, with only a handful of latrines, and dirty water to drink.
Peace, stability and safety
Our staff, some of whom have worked with us for over nineteen years, tell me that all the Somali’s want is peace and stability.
They want a place where their children can grow up in safety, go to school and have successful lives.
I ask some of the children if they feel safe, and they tell me that they do, until Amina, one of the mothers, calls out and says that they do not know yet what being safe means.
In this area we are trying to feed 24,000 malnourished children, and across the whole of Somalia almost 70,000.
In other parts of the country we are also distributing basic materials such as tarpaulins to help protect them from the sun and the rain.
Somalia is at the heart of the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, a region where up to 12 million people are at risk of severe hunger and death.
The more we can do to assist the Somalis, the less they will need to flee across borders putting further pressure on neighbouring countries already struggling with drought themselves.
Appeal: hope and aid
Our goal is to reach over 300,000 people across Somalia with lifesaving food, water, medical care, as well as education and safe spaces for recovering children.
Somalia may have many problems, but there is hope, and today I saw it in the eyes of the children we are helping to live through the current crisis.
We can give hope and aid to many more children across the country, but we can only do this with your support.